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Draft Bill sends powerful signal to contract cheating outlaws

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Australian Universities strongly support new legislation to outlaw “contract cheating” services.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said draft legislation on contract cheating sends a “powerful signal” to deter commercial operators from trying to sell such services.

“Australia’s universities utterly condemn contract cheating. We absolutely support the intention of the Government and Education Minister Dan Tehan to tackle commercial cheating services.”

“The overall direction is a step forward and supports universities’ efforts to take a tough stance on cheating.”

Universities Australia thanked Minister Tehan for the consultation process on the draft legislation and for considering feedback when finalising the Bill.

“Universities will continue our very constructive conversation with Government about small refinements to the Bill.”

“It’s important to ensure the legislation that goes to Parliament later this year (2019) reflects the Government’s intention and wider community expectations.”

“We would not want someone’s Mum who proofreads an essay and suggests an addition to be inadvertently captured by these laws.”

In its submission to the Bill’s exposure draft, Universities Australia suggests making the penalties for those not seeking to profit from cheating a civil — rather than criminal — offence.

“We want to ensure that the harshest penalties are applied to the worst offenders.”

Ms Jackson said universities also had strong academic penalties as she warned any students against cheating.

“If you’re found cheating, you could be failed, suspended or even expelled,” she said.

“My message to students is just don’t do it — you’ll end up ruining your education and your career.”

In November 2017, in collaboration with its members and leading experts, Universities Australia released Academic Integrity Best Practice Principles to help the sector strengthen academic integrity.

Source: Universities Australia

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