The commercialisation of higher education, driven by constant uncertainty about funding, has created ‘a perfect storm’ for the proliferation of contract cheating. Intense competition at all levels, a dependence on international student revenue, and a focus on retention and graduate employability have contributed to compromised teaching and learning environments. Facing precarious job markets after graduation, and positioned as fee-paying ‘customers’, many students are taking ‘transactional’ approaches to learning, with some outsourcing their work altogether. The findings from this project provide clear evidence that contract cheating is a systemic problem that requires a sector-wide response.

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