Call for crackdown on commercial cheating services for students


Another provider who has offered their services to international students on Facebook, claiming they have helped students at Australian Pacific College (APC), says they can provide assessments for $ 70 to $ 90.

He warned students of the private Facebook group “Brasileiros em Sydney” that they risked being reported to immigration authorities if they did not submit their homework.

Brazilian student Rebeca Fattori attended Nortwest College.

the Herald contacted international students in the group who discussed Australian colleges based on their relaxed attendance requirements. There is no suggestion that the students engaged in cheating.

Some students in the Brasileiros group discussed a preference for CPA because it was “flexible with attendance”. A student said she studied marketing at APC and did not have to attend classes. “However, you have to submit homework and the only thing they check is for plagiarism,” she said in Portuguese. Another said she did not take the course seriously and registered for her visa.

Brazilian student Rebeca Fattori, who attends Nortwest College in Sydney, said many international students are looking for colleges that are “cold with attendance.” “Life in Sydney is not cheap so we have to work,” she said.

A Nortwest spokesperson said attendance checks were not necessary for mature students who had to demonstrate academic progress to qualify for a visa.

He said Nortwest provides a minimum workload of 20 hours with face-to-face or online trainers. The conferences were recorded available at any time. The software used by Nortwest for cheating detection and assessment tasks has changed every year.

“We have detected plagiarism from time to time, usually among students,” the spokesperson said. “These students are marked as ‘failed’ and are required to resubmit their work for an additional fee. We do not have the resources to monitor third party services providing cheating services.

A student who returned to Brazil after studying at ILSC, an English school in Sydney, Nathália Mulezini, said that many students who were unable to obtain a working holiday visa had enrolled in courses for fulfill the visa requirements. “You just have to make sure that you send out your assignments on time and every once in a while you have to show up there,” she said.

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“The lessons are solid and some of them a little harsh, but you can find a lot of content on the internet that helps and the teachers are not very strict. It’s a cheaper way to stay legal in the country and work.

An international student who attended ILSC in 2019, who did not want her name published, said many students were taking classes “only to keep [their] visa ”and because migration officers recommended particular colleges“ because they get a commission for registering people ”.

the Herald contacted ILSC for comments.

the Herald has previously reported that some agents who recruit students in Australia receive commissions of up to 50 percent and additional cash bonuses of up to $ 300,000.

Brazilian student Wellington Bernardes, who studies leadership and management at APC, said he had to take his course twice a week. He said his main reason for taking the course in Sydney was to meet his visa requirements.

An APC spokesperson said VET colleges were not required to report attendance, which APC monitored. They reported on the progress of the students.

“I know a lot of people can assume that more attendance leads to more learning, but it doesn’t,” the spokesperson said. “It is a state of mind that we must move away from … Mere presence does not indicate commitment.”

The spokesperson said plagiarism was a problem that all education providers face. He said his university had contacted companies that had promoted cheating services to students “seeking to remove all of our homework from their websites.”

Another operator of a private college, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he wanted the federal government to “serve on colleges” that do not require students to complete adequate face-to-face hours , because “they gave the sector a bad reputation”.

“In our colleges, we have online lessons with a live teacher and student attendance is taken into account. We are as strict as possible, ”he said.

The operator said online cheating is difficult to monitor.

Oscar Ong, national president of the Council of International Students Australia, said better regulation of contract fraud is needed.

“In addition to attendance, institutions should look for other ways to track students’ progress in their courses, so that support can be provided in time before they fail their courses and have to repeat a year,” he said. he declared.

VET courses were to offer a minimum of 20 scheduled contact hours per week to international students. More flexible attendance was allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but education providers were required to document assessment standards.

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The chief executive of the International Education Association of Australia, Phil Honeywood, said the pandemic had exacerbated the struggle for international students who had managed to stay in Australia.

“In a minority of cases, the need for some colleges to keep their doors open has led to a lack of focus on quality offering,” he said.

Ravi Singh, Managing Director of Global Reach, which represents Australian universities in South Asia and chairman of the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India, described some private vocational training, education and training providers as “Visa factories where the courses are just to allow the visa on land. At a relatively low cost.

Mr Williams said he knew of “only two or three” private VET providers who offered “non-face-to-face” studies.

“If there is any certainty that an Australian international education is of value and is just a visa process, it undermines trust in the whole system,” he said. he declares.

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