Cheats who sell their services by taking exams or writing essays for university students will face jail under tough news laws proposed by the Morrison Government.
Draft legislation released today would make it an offence to provide or advertise cheating services to university students. Those found guilty could face up to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to $210,000.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said organised academic cheating threatened the integrity of Australia’s higher education system.
"Cheating is wrong and the Morrison Government is targeting the people who are making money exploiting Australia’s students," Mr Tehan.
"If you write another person’s university essay that’s cheating and you’re ripping off other hard-working students and also undermining our world-class education system.
"We will make contract cheating a crime sending a very clear message that cheats do not prosper under the Morrison Government."
The Bill follows advice from the Higher Education Standards Panel and is strongly supported by higher education providers. A similar approach was taken by New Zealand recently.
Once enacted, the legislation will give the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) powers to take action against academic cheating services, including investigation and prosecution of identified offenders.
TEQSA will also be given powers to seek Federal Court injunctions to prevent access to domestic and international websites promoting cheating services.
Comments on the draft Bill can be made by 28 June 2019 and further information can be found at www.education.gov.au/tackling-contract-cheating