An integrity unit will be created to work with the higher education sector to protect the interests of students and the reputation of Australia’s higher education sector.
The Morrison Government will provide $3.9 million a year to maintain the unit that will sit within the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).
The unit will identify and analyse emerging threats and assist the sector to address them, in areas such as academic and research integrity, cyber security, foreign interference and admission standards.
The unit will seek Federal Court injunctions to block access to cheating websites under the Prohibiting Academic Cheating Services Bill, once this legislation is passed.
Where required, the integrity unit will liaise and consult with other Commonwealth and state government agencies such as the Australian Federal Police, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the Cyber Security Centre, Department of Home Affairs and the Commonwealth Fraud Prevention Centre (CFPC).
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the integrity unit would protect students and universities.
“Australia has a world-class and respected higher education sector built on its integrity and we cannot afford to risk that,” Mr Tehan said.
“The integrity unit will ensure that universities continue to focus on the student experience and maintain the highest levels of quality.
“Our Government is funding an integrity unit because we recognise the important role that universities will play in educating job-ready Australians to power our post-COVID economic recovery.
“The unit will have a watching brief to identify risks to the sector and proactively assist institutions to take action.
“The unit will also work with universities to follow the Guidelines to counter foreign interference in the Australian university sector that were published last year.”