Google will be recruited to fight academic cheating and essay writing sites

On Sunday, the site, which had announced the writing of tailor-made essays that did not constitute plagiarism, was inaccessible in Australia.

The federal government passed a law last year that criminalizes providing or advertising academic cheating services in higher education. The law came into effect in September and provides for up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $ 100,000.

“It’s cheating on an industrial scale”

Despite reports that cheat services withdrew from Australia after the introduction of the new laws, TEQSA Chief Commissioner Professor Peter Coaldrake said these cheat sites were a “huge minefield. “.

“This is industrial-scale cheating that poses a pernicious threat to the integrity of higher education in Australia, as it does in other jurisdictions,” he said. .

One version, for example, offers grading services to academics. Casual academics have complained about the overwhelming workload of proofreading essays and exams for which they often receive piecework fees.

Experts have warned that while some services may have retreated, the prevalence of online assessments and distance learning since the pandemic would make contract cheating almost impossible to eradicate.

Professor Coaldrake said contract fraud is a global concern for maintaining quality and integrity in higher education systems and that TEQSA is working with its counterparts in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Great Britain to develop a united approach.

The UK government announced last week that it would make it illegal to provide paid essay writing services.

A recent study found that about 8 to 11 percent of college students use ghost writing services and 95 percent don’t.

While universities spend millions of dollars each year on software to detect plagiarism, contract fraud is more difficult to detect because it is usually original work.

The most publicized case of contract fraud was the Sydney-based MyMaster scandal, involving 1,000 students from 16 universities, which was revealed by Fairfax Media in 2015.

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