06 September 16Hope Terdich


Deakin University Student Association (DUSA) is hosting a Contract Cheating Awareness Week from September 5th to 9th to highlight the growing issue of purchased essays and ghost-writers completing student work in Australian universities.

Contract Cheating is defined as work produced by an external agent (or third party) and submitted under the pretext of being a student’s original piece of work. The process of engaging in a Contract Cheating service is as follows:

  1. Students locate Contract Cheating sites via on campus advertising, web or social media.
  2. Students submit or upload their assignment criteria on an auction site.
  3. Ghost-writers bid to complete the work.
  4. The student selects a bid and pays for the assignment.
  5. The ghost–writer completes the assignment and returns it to the student.
  6. The student submits this work under their own name.

The Advocacy & Welfare team, as part the Deakin University Student Association, have found students will engage in Contract Cheating for a variety of reasons including; medical, financial disadvantage, social pressures, poor study techniques or cultural differences. Students who cheat often lack an understanding of the principles of academic integrity and the expectations of tertiary education providers.

Contract Cheating companies are masquerading as academic help services at Universities and will advertise on campus through fake “help” posters, via social media and websites, as well as targeting student email addresses.

Matthew McDonald, DUSA President, explained, “DUSA aims, through this awareness week, to educate students on the genuine help services that are available to them throughout the University. Sometimes things go wrong and students find themselves in a bad position. In these times, we want them to know that help is available to them and that they should be seeking that help, not turning to ghost writers. Cheating will only make a bad situation worse and can often end with the student being excluded from the University altogether.”

“These so called ‘ghost writers’ are nothing but opportunistic, profit seeking frauds. Not only are they devaluing the degrees that everyone else are working so hard and paying so much for, they are actively and knowingly seeking to prey on vulnerable students who genuinely need help, not a lie and a trip to an academic disciplinary hearing.

“We want students to ask for help from the genuine services available to them, not to turn to a con-artist who will take their money and leave students to fend for themselves at an academic disciplinary hearing.”

The DUSA Advocacy & Welfare Service provides independent, impartial and free advice to all Deakin Students. Advocacy & Welfare provides professional support when a student is experiencing difficulties that may result in a lack of engagement with their study and assessments.

DUSA are hosting Contract Cheating Awareness events across all Deakin campuses, with key activities occurring at the Burwood campus on September 8th and Waurn Ponds Wednesday 7th September.

For further information on DUSA’s Contract Cheating Awareness Week please contact DUSA Marketing & Communications – Hope Walker via or 03 9251 7160