International students trigger 2000% rise in university cheating

As we all know, Australia’s universities have experienced an incredible boom in international student numbers over the past six years, with enrolments ballooning by 327,000 (89%) over this period:

One of the deleterious side effects of this boom has been the degradation of teaching standards alongside increasing reports of plagiarism and cheating across Australia’s universities.

For example, “functionally illiterate Chinese students were embroiled in an elaborate “ghost writing” scandal in 2014.

In 2015, ABC’s Four Corners aired an explosive report, entitled “Degrees of deception”, which documented widespread cheating by international students, and featured one university lecturer accusing half of their students of plagiarism.

Shortly afterwards in 2015, dozens of international students across New South Wales were caught in an elaborate cheating racket, prompting the Independent Commission Against Corruption to demand reform from the state’s universities.

Earlier this year, international student associations urged regulation of overseas agents amid systemic cheating on English language tests.

In May this year, Four Corners aired a second alarming report that again highlighted widespread plagiarism and misconduct from international students.

And last month, The AFR reported that “cheating has spread like wildfire” across Australia’s universities, driven by international students, whereas The ABC reported a “proliferation of ghostwriting” services targeted at international students.

With this sordid background in mind, the University of New South Wales has now reported a 2000% increase in cheating:

The number of students found to be cheating in assessments and exams increased by about 2000 per cent at the University of NSW when it moved resources from deterring cheating to detecting it…

“We’ve gone from a detection rate of almost nothing to quite a substantial detection rate,” Cath Ellis, UNSW’s associate dean of education in the faculty of arts and social sciences, said.

“All of us inside and outside the sector have been putting our efforts [into] deterrence … but we’ve found that assessment design cannot prevent contract cheating; you can’t design it out…

Associate Professor Ellis said the actual proportion of students who cheat could be as high as 12 per cent…

“We’ve got a serious new issue here of contract cheating,” Mr Thorley said.

Not surprisingly, the University of New South Wales has the equal second highest share of international students in Australia:

These international students are overwhelmingly from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds, and have paid large fees, so obviously they are more inclined to pay for someone to write their assignments.

Make no mistake, this is the inevitable outcome from Australia’s higher education system being turned into a commodity and universities selling places to international students to maximise profits.

Universities have dropped entry standards so low that almost any international student now qualifies provided they can pay the tuition fees. And since these students have paid so much for entry, and many lack basic English language skills, they inevitably turn to cheating services.

The biggest victims in all of this are domestic students. Not only has the quality of their education been dumbed down to cater to the lowest common denominator, but the value of their degrees is being trashed.

Leith van Onselen
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  1. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    42.9% !!!!! fark me, no way is my son going to an Australian Uni with 42.9 % foreign students lol what a joke

    • Worse I saw on one documentary about it, that this local ozy guy was been held back because most of his group were foreign students with a bad level of English so he was ending up having to explain and do everything because they couldn’t understand. So it’s starting to affect local yen students directly as well.

    • My youngest is going to the ANU next year. 43.1%. And that was 2017, so its probably worse even more diverse and vibrant now.

  2. It is culturally insensitive and borderline racsst to call it “cheating”. In other, older civilizations like China and India it is a culturally acceptable way to get ahead. These students pay the university more than locals, they deserve better results.

      • I could run some specials.

        Motor-Mouth Mondays
        Twin* Tuesdays
        Whip Wielding Wednesdays
        Thai Thursdays
        Fvck-For-a-Fifty Fridays

        Saturdays and sundays I haven’t decided yet. Open to suggestions.

        (*not really twins, but they kinda look alike)

      • All you need to start up a brothel is an advertisement, a phone and more than one girl. It’s a favoured business prospect. Imagine making $100 just for answering a phone call. The trouble is for all Asians and Aussies, they are everywhere now, there are too many skilled sex workers and everyone is suffering. Their greedy nature has killed the industry. You can get sex now for less than the price of a packet of cigarettes.

  3. If you’re in the 60%ish of native English speaking Aussies won’t you have a better chance of getting a job that the other 40%?
    I mean, aren’t the 40% the suckers? I knew a very smart native English speaker from Canada who outlaid massive cash to do a masters degree at Melb Uni. She was genuinely shocked that Aussie employers weren’t interested in hiring her.
    (Of course, I’m ignoring the fact that many of the 40% are just looking to get residency here)

    • Did she have a tight little ass, like the oriental students we import?

      Or was she a big-boned North American?

      I think that makes a real difference to hiring prospects.

  4. The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

    Degrees are generally worthless unless they’re in sciences such as Property Economics.

  5. The reason for all this is the lack of regulatory oversight from the Higher Education regulator, TEQSA. Imagine an organisation which has its regulatory decision making informed by casual chit-chats with provider’s instead of collecting evidence of student coursework and implementation of policies in compliance with the relevant quality standard.

    • “Imagine an organisation which has its regulatory decision making informed by casual chit-chats with provider’s instead of collecting evidence”
      You mean like APRA, ASIC, federal and state Parliaments and a whole heap of others?

      • The regulation of Tertiary Education is critical in our current context and the lack of scrutiny cascades across many sector’s.