Australian students who take part-time jobs to cover their costs and jumpstart their careers could face criminal charges amid a crackdown on editorial factories.
The country’s higher education regulator has warned that students who accept jobs touting “online study platforms” could face a sentence of up to two years in jail and face penalties. fines of A $ 110,000 (£ 61,000).
The Agency for Standards and Quality in Higher Education (Teqsa) “advisory statements” warn students to carefully monitor job postings from the platforms, which have seen “strong growth” in recent years. “Some of these websites may promote, activate, or provide commercial academic cheating services,” the reviews warn.
“Under Australian anti-cheating laws, promoting or selling academic cheating services is illegal. Students employed to promote a website could face criminal penalties if the website is found to violate Australian law. “
The warnings come as Teqsa prepares to assert the power she inherited following the passage last August of a bill banning academic cheating services. They coincide with a wave of ads seeking paid “campus representatives” for Course Hero, a California-based “community of educators” that offers a “Netflix-like subscription” to over 60 million course, tutoring resources. and support.
The company, which invites users to “subscribe or contribute their own,” wants to employ students at 12 universities in Australia and dozens more in the United States. The job is to organize ‘networking’ events to ‘educate students about the incentives and products of Course Hero’, as well as supporting ‘beneficial social initiatives’ such as a program that donates books to schools. Gambian.
“This position is ideal for registered students looking for a flexible work opportunity…[and] interested in sales or event planning, ”the ads say. “We provide opportunities to develop and refine your skills in sales, networking, communication, management and leadership.
“You will have the necessary business skills and knowledge to be successful in your future career. We offer personalized career advancement resources to stellar representatives including, but not limited to, letters of recommendation and references for future jobs or applications.
Course Hero said it was a “participatory learning platform”, not a cheat service. “We are waiting and working hard to ensure that users act with academic integrity,” said a spokesperson.
“Since our founding in 2006, Course Hero has taken many steps to address concerns about academic cheating and copyright infringements that inevitably arise with an open platform. Course Hero does not tolerate copyright infringement, plagiarism or cheating of any kind and uses a range of preventive measures and investigative and enforcement policies.
She said the organization complied with local regulations, including in Australia, and its representatives on campus were bound by copyright and academic integrity policies.
Teqsa’s advisory statements follow revelations that editorial factories lure unsuspecting students by hacking the web pages of university help desks and running bogus essay contests to “reap” student work for. resell them.
The advisory notes say students who have been offered promotional jobs on campus should “speak with their institution first to determine if the company is licensed to operate on their campus.” Teqsa advises students to “never share your work online, as it could be sold by cheat services to other students.”