The Prohibiting Academic Cheating Services Bill 2019 (the Bill) amended the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 and was passed by Parliament on 26 August 2020.
The Bill implements the recommendations of the Higher Education Standards Panel to introduce deterrents to third party academic cheating services in higher education.
Measures contained in the Bill:
- make it an offence for any person to provide or advertise academic cheating services relating to the delivery of higher education in Australia, whether that person is in Australia or elsewhere
- provide for financial and custodial penalties where an offence is proven of up to 500 penalty units and/or two years imprisonment. The Bill distinguishes between cheating services provided on a commercial basis, and where the cheating service is provided without payment. Criminal and civil penalties will apply to commercial cheating services; civil penalties only will apply to unpaid cheating services
- expand TEQSA’s role, as the regulator responsible for administering the law, to include:
- gathering, providing and sharing information, and providing education in relation to academic cheating services
- conducting research relating to academic cheating services
- taking action to prevent access to online sources of academic cheating services.