Contract Cheating Awareness Week


Understand what Contract Cheating is, the consequences and the help services available to you.

What is contract cheating?

As students studying at University in Australia, we agree to uphold a level of academic integrity. Deakin University defines academic integrity as, “…Producing and submitting assessments in an honest and fair way, acting and communicating ethically, and showing respect for the work of others.”

To demonstrate academic integrity means to submit your own work, correctly acknowledge resources and references, and always be truthful in your communication with the university. It all sounds fairly simple!

But unfortunately, there are many ways students continue to cheat (sometimes unknowingly) in their tertiary studies. Plagiarism, collusion, contract cheating, fabrication or bribery are all types of cheating, yet “Contract Cheating” continuous to be frequently used by students at Deakin University.

“Contract Cheating” is a term used to describe a process where a student requests someone else to produce all or part of an assessment task that is submitted as their own work, including arrangements through a third party. 

This process called Contract Cheating, is not accepted at Deakin University and can result in your exclusion from your course and the University.

The potential penalties you might face under the Deakin University Student Academic Integrity Procedure include one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Zero marks for the assessment task
  • Zero marks for the unit
  • Suspension from the course or the University for a Study Period with an automatic right of return
  • Exclusion from the course or University for up to 3 study periods with no automatic right of return
  • Permanent exclusion from the course

DUSA is here to help you create better academic strategies, understand the consequences of contract cheating, and how to avoid engaging with unethical providers during your study.

Play the contract cheating game here to see possible outcomes!

What are the real-life outcomes if caught 'Contract Cheating'?

As a student of Deakin University there are real consequences of contract cheating that are not solely academic. The repercussions of Contract Cheating may affect many facets of your life including family, finances and future career.

Some real-life examples from students as a result of being caught Contract Cheating:

“I was excluded from my course, then my student visa was cancelled as a result of the exclusion. I had to leave Australia and return home, I don’t think I will ever get to graduate. I have disappointed my family.”

“I was found out to be contract cheating, as a result I was excluded from Deakin. I felt so guilty, embarrassed and unethical. None of my friends have ever cheated. I really don’t want to be known as a ‘cheater’.”

“I was really lucky that my parents have been paying for my studies so I don’t have a HECS/HELP debt. I was caught contract cheating and received a zero for unit. My parents are making me pay to redo the subject which I just can’t afford. I wasted their time, money and now my money which I don’t have. I feel so ashamed.”

“My parents pay for me to study in Australia. I was suspended from my course, they are so mad they are demanding I repay them for my subjects and pay my own way in Australia.”

“I lost my dream graduate job. The company that was hiring reviewed my university results and saw I had failed a subject, they asked me why and I told them I contract cheated. They immediately revoked the job offer.”

“I received a zero mark and have to repeat the subject. The cost keeps adding to my HECS. I will never be able to pay it off at this rate. I’m in so much debt as it is.”

“I contract cheated and was permanently excluded from my course. I have no other back up plan. My partner was so angry when they found out, that they broke up with me. I’m alone, ashamed and with no other options.”

Why might you 'contract cheat'?

Deakin students may “contract cheat” for a variety of reasons medical, financial disadvantage, social pressures, poor study techniques or cultural differences.

Students who cheat often lack of understanding of the principals of academic integrity at Deakin and the expectations of student behavior at our Tertiary providers.

Students provide many reasons as to why they feel are valid for engaging in Contract Cheating. Some common reasons people used a contract cheating service were:

They believed receiving help from “contract cheating websites” is not a breach of academic integrity. Many students would use a “ghost-writer” for the assignment and then submit the pre-written work as their own.

Some international students caught cheating have said that they faced a heavy financial burden (working long hours for little money) coupled with family or professional pressure of receiving an expensive foreign education. Students felt a pressure to succeed and resorted to cheating to ensure their success.

Students were peer pressured, particularly in group projects, to cheat or risk failing the unit.

Students with English as a Second Language caught contract cheating felt they misunderstood the work requirements or did not receive enough English language help from their tutors or peers.

Students discover that their friends have used contract cheating services and achieve good grades. They believe that this gives them a reason to contract cheat as their friends have not been caught.

You may believe that some of these statements provide genuine and authentic reasons to engage in contract cheating. This is not true. It is never okay to use “contract cheating” services when studying. You will face academic penalty, dilute the quality of the education for which you are paying and you will face other significant consequences.

What do “contract cheating” traps look like?

Contract Cheating companies masquerade as academic help services to trap Deakin students. They will advertise on campus with fake “help” posters, through social media and via websites.

These companies use key words like assignment help, educational solutions, professional or experts to help complete your project, online writing services, homework help, plagiarism checking services, and will often promise money back guarantees.

These platforms are not genuine help services; they will not assist you with your learning nor help you achieve academically. Instead they will write assignments, essays and projects for you which is contract cheating. If you submit the work provided, or part of the work provided to you by these services, you will be caught and you will face academic penalties like exclusion.

What help services are available to me? How do I get academic help?

Deakin University and DUSA provide a range of academic and welfare services on campus and through the cloud that can assist you with your learning and other areas of your life. Many of the services are free and are available to current Deakin students. If you require help - ask someone.

Available services:

For further information and assistance please contact DUSA Student Advocacy Support Service on 1300 555 528 or via the online booking form.