New legislation is making it harder for university students to cheat.
The Academic Integrity Legislation which came into effect this month is targeting those websites that "essentially offer cheating services" to students.
Online learning advice service Studiosity founder Jack Goodman said from September it is illegal for providers to help students cheat and there are consequences for students too.
"People behind websites that share solutions, essay writing, and notes can face two years jail time and a $110,000 fine. Even websites that say notes are 'samples' or 'examples only' or have disclaimers will be liable," he said.
The free Studiosity service currently supports over 75 per cent of Australian universities.
Mr Goodman, who is also Friends of Libraries Australia president, added the new law should have a powerful effect in terms of shutting down those websites that are unethical and clearly now illegal.
"And, hopefully in that way reducing the likelihood of students being tempted to use these services," he said.
Mr Goodman said the other problem was to reduce demand for these services, meaning students at universities need to be better supported.
"Study is challenging, and that can mean stress for some students," he said. "Others feel financial pressure from fees, or from their family, or are juggling work. Plus, 2020 has brought incredible new challenges, with more students studying in isolation from home.
"So providing more and better support for students is needed now more than ever."
On its own the new law won't stop students from trying to cheat.
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"If it is well implemented and enforced by Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), it should reduce the prevalence of these websites," Mr Goodman said.
"In conjunction with more awareness and better support for students at universities in terms of having access to really appropriate and high quality academic support, the law definitely should be part of a overall reduction strategy in cheating instances.
"This is a win-win for universities and students."
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