Report suspected illegal cheating

At Southern Cross University, the nominated TEQSA principal contact is Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Quality) Professor Thomas Roche. 

Academic Integrity goes to the core of our values as an institution, and we see it as our responsibility to educate students on academic integrity and engage with them when they fail to act with integrity during their studies. To this end the University has established an Academic Integrity Framework.

All commencing Southern Cross University students are required to complete our Academic Integrity Module to learn about academic integrity practices expected at university. The Framework supports the University and its staff to take action regarding suspected illegal cheating services to further protect and enhance academic integrity.

How to Report suspected illegal cheating services at SCU
  1. If you encounter any suspected illegal cheating services, please email the Co-ordinator, Academic Governance and Student Misconduct at ssu@scu.edu.au  including the website name, along with any evidence. Below is an example email for you to follow/amending as appropriate:

    Email subject line: suspected illegal cheating service/copyright

    Please report website x to TEQSA’s Higher Education Integrity Unit (HEIU) for investigation. Evidence of the suspected illegal cheating service is included below, and or attached; and/or

    Please request SCU Legal issue a takedown notice in relation to website x for copyright infringement by publishing the following (or attached) University owned material (not student material) on a site without permission.

  2. The Co-ordinator, Academic Governance and Student Misconduct will then liaise with our Legal Office in relation to any copyright issues*, and also report the matter to TEQSA’s Higher Education Integrity Unit (HEIU) with advice regarding any action we have taken, and ask they investigate the suspected illegal cheating** service.
Copyright/cheating service – advice from our Legal Office: please note before reporting

*Copyright applies if a site is publishing University owned material (not student material) on a site without permission.  Our Legal Office can issue takedown notices in that instance. You can still report this to email ssu@scu.edu.au (as per step 1 above) but your request would be to issue a takedown notice.

[If you find student material on a site, this is a potential breach of academic integrity – collusion ‘knowingly allowing work to be copied and passed off as the work of another person’.

In the first instance, contact the student via email and ask they remove the material advising them it is a  breach of academic integrity, and failure to remove the material (or a repeat of the same) will result in it being reported in AIMS – Academic Integrity Management System].

**In relation to cheating, Course Hero and similar services may not meet the definition of an academic cheating service.  There is a nuance to the legislation.  Section 114A of the Act prohibits academic cheating services. It makes it an offence for a person to provide, offer to provide or arrange a third person to provide an academic cheating service.

An academic cheating service means the provision of work to or the undertaking of work for students, in circumstances where the work:

  1. is, or forms a substantial part of, an assessment task that students are required to personally undertake; or
  2. could reasonably be regarded as being, or forming a substantial part of, an assessment task that students are required to personally undertake

Therefore, simply providing previous assignments is not an “academic cheating service”.  For the provision of the assignment to meet the definition that assignment must “form a substantial part of an assessment task.” Sites like course hero state on their website that they are a study aid and that the assignments are not to be used in a manner that breaches the legislation. They of course make it tempting or easier for a student to cheat, but they claim that is not their intent. Many universities deal with this by expressly prohibiting the use of sites like Chegg or Course Hero in their academic integrity policies.  Or, they prohibit collusion, sharing etc.

At SCU, a student found to have submitted an assessment task substantially provided by such a site will be reported as a Major AI Breach in AIMS, and receive a fail for the unit.

Please be mindful of the above, noting the distinction when reporting any suspected cheating service/copyright infringement (publishing University owned material without permission).