Academic Integrity Case Study #1

CQUniversity values academic honesty and integrity. We take the academic learning journeys of our students very seriously and as such, we have a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to academic misconduct.

Contract cheating is a serious breach of academic integrity that CQUniversity deems to be academic misconduct.

Academic integrity comes in many forms and we have compiled a series of case studies to provide insight into the importance of upholding academic integrity.

Keep reading to find out about Raj and his contract cheating case.

Raj completed an undergraduate engineering degree in India and enrolled in a postgraduate management course and is in his final term. After graduation he plans on finding an internship and applying for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Work visa. His long-term aspiration is permanent residency and to bring his family to Australia.

Raj is not confident that he can complete two of his written assignments by the due date. He has another written assignment due the same week plus an examination and is working part-time. A friend knows a graduate from his home state who has returned to India and can write his assignments, guarantees a passing grade and low Turnitin score. Raj requests this graduates email address and forwards on the assessment requirements. He also provides his username and password so the graduate can upload the assignments for him.

However, during marking one of his lecturers suspects the assignment is not Raj’s work. It’s written at a higher level than his first assignment and a lot of the expected content is missing. The references are also in the wrong style. He checks the student’s Moodle logs and notices the assignment was uploaded from India. The lecturer contacts the Academic Integrity Unit and an investigation is conducted on other assignments submitted that term. A second assignment in another unit was submitted from overseas. Two cases of contract cheating are raised against Raj.

This is Raj’s first breach of academic integrity. Raj receives an invitation to respond to the allegations and denies cheating. However, his response does not adequately explain his approach to writing the assignments, where he obtained his sources or the overseas Moodle logins. He also cannot explain why the author properties of these assignments are different from his other assignments.


Although this is Raj’s first record of a breach of academic integrity, contract cheating is considered a serious breach of academic integrity by the University. Raj is found to have breached the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure for contract cheating.


  • Failing grade for the units.
  • Permanent exclusion from CQUniversity.
  • Mandatory completion of the Foundations of Academic Integrity program (where penalties include permanent exclusion, the student would not be required to complete the FAI program).

Raj can appeal the decision but his immediate plans of an internship, and Graduate Work Visa is not likely. Raj also now has an incident of academic misconduct on his permanent student record and Unofficial Transcript includes a comment that he has been expelled from CQUniversity and is not permitted to re-enrol in any courses or units.

It is your responsibility to ensure the work you submit is your own. Be informed. Act with honesty and integrity. And don’t risk your career and your future.

Find out more about Academic Integrity and the safe support services for academic and study help, available to you, free of charge, as a CQUniversity student.

Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Check out our other Academic Integrity Case Studies:

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