Post-secondary institutions join together to fight contract cheating

On October 21 the University of Waterloo with will join with colleges and universities across Ontario to participate in the International Center for Academic Integrity’s (ICAI) fifth annual International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. Waterloo joins hundreds of post-secondary institutions worldwide in marking the day with interactive and educational virtual activities for their communities.

Contract Cheating is a form of academic dishonesty where students have academic work completed on their behalf, which they then submit for academic credit and advantage as if they had created it themselves. This day of action aims to raise awareness of contract cheating and the threat it poses to educational systems. As many as 16 million people could be receiving fraudulent certifications yearly as a result of contract cheating.

ICAI has noted that contract cheating is on the rise as a result of the virtual learning required during the COVID-19 pandemic. Essay mills and contract cheating services have been ramping up their advertising to take advantage of vulnerable students.

“Waterloo has been working very hard to ensure that our students have access to the supports they need to complete their academic work without these services,” said Amanda McKenzie, Director of Quality Assurance and Academic Integrity at Waterloo. “We are glad to join with other post-secondary educational institutions to mark this day and raise awareness about the threat of contract cheating. Waterloo students work very hard for their academic success and it’s important to ensure that that work is not devalued.”

This year ICAI will run a student contest titled “My Own Work Helps Me Excel with Integrity,” where the top three students will win a gift card. Students are encouraged to create messaging to speak out against contract cheating. Students can submit videos, poems, songs, artwork and much more. Students are also encouraged to post their messages against contract cheating using the hashtag #myownwork #excelwithintegrity.

This year, ICAI organizations worldwide will be live streaming more than 20 hours of their activities on October 21, 2020, to demonstrate a united global front against contract cheating.

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