Working with the Guild, we are highlighting the dangers of students engaging in breaches of academic integrity.
While plagiarism has been an enduring issue in higher education around the world, the problem has intensified with advent of new technologies and the rise of ‘contract cheating’ where assessment tasks are completed by third parties in return for money, and then fraudulently submitted as original work. This is a concern shared nationally and globally and emerging federal legislation will make the provision of such services a crime, in line with other countries.
In addition, the Federal Department of Education and Training (DET) will be issuing a Model Code for all students that highlights their responsibilities to act honestly, as well as the very potential serious consequences of not doing so, including exclusion from study, loss of academic award and for international students, loss of visa. There are also some indications that third-party companies are linked to broader criminal activities, including potential blackmail of students who have used their services.
UWA has established an Academic Integrity Working Group, chaired by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, who also chairs the Universities Australia processes on this issue. The UWA group is looking at the current UWA policy in light of the Universities Australia Best Practice Principles and the emergent law and work of the federal DET. UWA’s IT department can identify where known contact cheating sites are accessed by students, and universities are cooperating in sharing information on the companies involved.
Professor David Sadler
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)