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Australian Universities Crack Down on AI Plagiarism

Australia’s leading universities are updating academic integrity policies in response to students using AI chatbots like ChatGPT to cheat in assessments.

The Group of Eight (Go8) – which includes The University of Adelaide, The Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, Monash University, UNSW Sydney, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney and The University of Western Australia – have announced revisions to how assessments will be run in 2023 due to the emergent technology.

What changes will be implemented?

According to The Guardian, the group’s deputy chief executive, Dr Matthew Brown, said the education providers were “proactively tackling” AI through student education, staff training, redesigning assessments and targeted technological and other detection strategies.

“Our universities have revised how they will run assessments in 2023, including supervised exams … greater use of pen and paper exams and tests … and tests only for units with low integrity risks,” he shared.

 This includes live exams for offshore and online students, in which a supervisor monitors their computer screen throughout,  as well as more in-person supervision for onshore students.

Some of these education providers will also be specifically addressing AI in their academic integrity policies and/or their student codes of conduct, meaning that as a student, you can face serious implications if you use AI software to cheat on an assessment. 

What happens if I get caught cheating?

If you are caught cheating while studying at an Australian tertiary institution, you could face serious implications. While each education provider has its own policies and procedures to penalise students who take part in cheating, they all take it very seriously. Breaching academic integrity policies could lead to a grade penalty, course failure, or in some cases, a negative impact on your student visa and therefore your ability to remain in Australia.

Make sure you check your education provider’s Code of Conduct and academic integrity policies so you have a full understanding of the rules in place.

TEQSA provides several valuable resources that guide you through the importance of academic integrity and the risks of academic cheating.

What can I do if I’m struggling with my studies?

If you’re becoming overwhelmed with coursework, the best thing you can do is let your support network know. Your education provider will offer a range of resources to help you overcome any academic struggles.

Your teachers want to see you succeed, so if you’re comfortable speaking directly to them, they might be able to offer advice, extra support or even extensions on work deadlines.

Another way to alleviate stress is by chatting with your peers. In most cases, you’ll find that they are sharing the same struggles as you, which can help you feel less isolated. 

When opening up to other students, ask about their study routines and methods. Doing so may give you a fresh perspective for tackling your own work. It’s also a great idea to arrange study groups where you can bounce ideas off one another.

For more information on support services available to international students, click here.