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TEQSA outlines ways to cut contract cheating

4 October 2017

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has partnered with leading academic integrity expert Professor Tracey Bretag to develop a Good Practice Note to help tackle the complex issue of contract cheating. 

TEQSA’s Good Practice Note: Addressing contract cheating to safeguard academic integrity is the first in a new series of materials to support and promote quality assurance approaches of providers.

TEQSA chief executive Anthony McClaran said the Good Practice Note provided Australian higher education providers with helpful research and tools to develop policies and processes to minimise contract cheating.

“This is part of a sector-wide agenda to safeguard academic integrity, which is critical to protecting students’ learning outcomes, educational standards and the strong reputation of Australia’s higher education sector,” Mr McClaran said.

“Breaches of academic integrity also have broader implications and we are keen to support increased engagement between providers and students to address these risks. We all have responsibility for tackling this significant issue – a culture of integrity, support and policies are important across the sector. We’re grateful to Professor Bretag and to the providers who have contributed examples of good practice.”

Complementing the recent Guidance Note: Academic Integrity, the Good Practice Note provides specific advice in five critical areas including:

  • policies to promote academic integrity
  • policies and procedures to address breaches
  • actions to mitigate risks
  • the provision of academic integrity guidance
  • good practices to maintain academic integrity.

Professor Bretag, from University of South Australia, said the Good Practice Note drew on her recent survey of 15,000 students which found six per cent of students admitted to cheating in some form while 68 per cent of academic staff had come across instances of suspected cheating.

“It does not purport to deliver an immediate solution to the problem but aims to provide a stimulus for reflection and a call to action, both in our own institutions and as part of a sector-wide collaboration,” she said.

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