Students own their work and have a legal right to share notes and past assignments they create
But... Universities are unfairly preventing students from publishing this work
Your work, your right to publish
The Situation Today
UNIS WRONGLY ACCUSING STUDENTS OF 'CONTRACT CHEATING'
Several universities are blindly extending the interpretation of their misconduct policies to extend beyond cheating, and have wrongly accused students who publish their study notes and past assessments of participating in 'contract cheating'.
UNIS DEMAND STUDENTS REMOVE THEIR WORK, YEARS AFTER PUBLISHING
Some universities have reached out to students many years after they have legally published their work, to demand that it is taken down. Students who object to their work being forceably removed from publication are faced with the challenge of defending their right to publish in a disciplinary hearing without legal advice or assistance in these matters.
UNIS REFUSE TO SET CLEAR GUIDELINES ON HOW TO PUBLISH
All Australian universities have an obligation to respect the rights of students who publish past work they legally own. To date however, no university in Australia has attempted to establish a framework that governs how this should occur.
UNIS ARE MAKING EDUCATIONAL TOOLS ILLEGAL
Universities have pressured government to introduce draft legislation to tackle 'contract cheating', however the draft form of these laws may also make it a criminal offence to publish past student work along with potentially criminalising many other legitimate educational tools.Learn more about this issue
How We Got Here
Students have always shared notes and past assignments
Students and academics have always relied on notes and past work to study from, allowing students to collaborate and learn from their peers. In the old days, studying in this way was done face to face with study groups and library meet-ups.
Education platforms such as Quizlet, Course Hero, Chegg and Study Blue launched online in the US, creating the first online spaces for students to share their past work.
Australian startups enter the student publishing space
Australian businesses such as Nexus Notes, Thinkswap and StudentVip launch local versions of these education platforms, providing students with Australian centric content and education tools.
Ghostwriting services are exposed
The issue of 'contract cheating' is brought to light with the MyMaster scandal. Contract cheating is when a student uses a third party to complete their assignments for them and submit it as their own. Universities are asked to show how they have protected themselves against this threat by TEQSA, the national university education standards board in Australia.
Unis impose unfair restrictions on students
Universities have since introduced unreasonably broad policies that not only capture 'contract cheating', but also legitimate study practices that students have always relied on. Sharing of student created work is frowned upon and universities have pressured the government to introduce broad laws that extend far beyond the scope of preventing 'contract cheating'.