Access has been blocked to 40 of the most visited academic cheating websites.
The higher education regulator – TEQSA – has for the first time used new special protocols to prevent access to the websites.
Cheating websites are used to sell students essays or assignments or accept payment for someone to sit exams on a student’s behalf.
The 40 websites blocked by the regulator are visited about 450,000 times a month.
Illegal cheating services threaten academic integrity and expose students to criminals, who often attempt to blackmail students into paying large sums of money.
Blocking these websites will seriously disrupt the operations of the criminals behind them.
For the first time, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has used new protocols developed with members of the Communications Alliance to prevent access to the websites.
The protocols streamline the process for blocking illegal academic cheating websites, better enabling TEQSA to enforce Australia’s anti-commercial academic cheating laws.
The protocols were developed with participating internet service providers (ISPs) and were finalised in June.
A range of TEQSA resources for students and staff are available at teqsa.gov.au, along with a form that can be used to report a suspected cheating service for investigation.