Australia

Cracking down on cheating at universities

If you watched Suits, you’d know Mike Ross made some decent money taking exams that weren’t his to take. But don’t get any ideas because the federal government has passed new laws that will see cheaters who do that very thing face jail time.The legislation, which comes into effect on Friday, makes it an offence…

If you watched Suits, you’d know Mike Ross made some decent money taking exams that weren’t his to take.

But don’t get any ideas because the federal government has passed new laws that will see cheaters who do that very thing face jail time.

The legislation, which comes into effect on Friday, makes it an offence to provide or advertise academic cheating services in higher education.

Those caught flouting the rules can face up to two years in jail or fines of up to $100,000.

Education Minister Dan Tehan said the growing availability of academic cheating services posed a significant threat to the integrity and reputation of higher education in Australia.

“We have made contract cheating a crime by targeting the people who are making money exploiting Australia’s students,” Mr Tehan said.

“The law targets cheating service providers and advertisers – not students. Students caught cheating will continue to face the conduct and disciplinary processes of their individual institution.

“Organised cheating threatens the integrity of our universities and undermines the hard work done by honest students.”

An academic cheating services is defined as: assistance to students that forms a substantial part of an assessment task that students are required to personally undertake.

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency will administer the new law, which includes intelligence gathering, blocking overseas cheating websites and pursuing prosecutions, and educating providers to develop prevention strategies.

The federal government has provided funding for a new toolkit for universities to help catch students using contract cheating services.

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