Tackling contract cheating

The Government has released an exposure draft of legislation that will make it an offence to provide or advertise academic cheating services in higher education (often referred to in higher education circles as ‘contract cheating’).

Contract cheating activity, if left unchecked, poses a significant threat to the integrity and reputation of Australia's higher education sector both domestically and internationally.

The draft legislation is aimed at those who provide cheating services and not at students. Students who cheat will continue to be subject to institutions' own academic integrity policies, processes and academic sanctions. These institutional policies are not affected by the new legislation.

The offences and penalties the Bill creates will apply whether the services are provided from within Australia or from overseas.

A summary overview of the draft Bill outlines the key features of the proposed legislation.

TEQSA was allocated additional funding in the 2018-19 Budget to provide support to higher education providers on this issue, including through the development of education materials, information sharing, intelligence gathering and, if necessary, support for prosecutions under the new national law.

Comments on the draft Bill were sought from all interested stakeholders by 28 June 2019.

Advice of the Higher Education Standards Panel

The Government released the advice of the Higher Education Standards Panel on tackling contract cheating, along with the Government's response to that advice, on 18 December 2018. 29 submissions were received.