Material promoting cheating services displayed on campuses
As students return to campus and assessment time approaches, TEQSA has received evidence showing commercial academic cheating providers are advertising their services via posters and stickers displayed at Australian higher education campuses and other teaching locations.
TEQSA’s Higher Education Integrity Unit is concerned that some material offering “assignment help” is promoting, enabling or supplying commercial academic cheating services (also known as contract cheating).
Under Australia’s anti-cheating laws, the promotion or sale of academic cheating services is illegal and subject to penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $110,000.
All staff and students at Australian institutions are reminded that commercial academic cheating undermines the integrity of higher education.
Everyone working and studying at Australian institutions – including librarians, learning advisors, student counsellors and student clubs and organisations – can help stamp out these illegal services.
Institutions can take practical actions including:
- ensuring that only authorised and verified organisations can promote their services on-campus
- ensuring that institutional policies are upheld. For example, if your facilities staff are authorised to approve advertising material, staff are encouraged to remove unapproved material when they see it
- communicating relevant policies regarding authorised on-campus commercial activity to all staff and students, during induction, with regular reminders
- continuing to inform students about the risks posed via study platforms that promote or sell commercial cheating services. TEQSA has published advice for students that may form part of your communication to students
- reminding students and staff about the importance of academic integrity and the risk posed by illegal cheating services.
- Downloadable materials for use in student communications and on campus
- TEQSA Protecting Academic Integrity Resources (for providers and their staff)
- TEQSA Understanding Academic Integrity Resources (for students)
- Good Practice Note: Addressing contract cheating to safeguard academic integrity
Providers with any queries about this matter can email integrityunit [at] teqsa.gov.au.