Academic Integrity at VU: Getting started

Academic Integrity values

"Academic integrity and honesty are integral to maintaining the academic standards and reputation of VU and its graduates. VU is committed to upholding high standards of academic integrity."
(Academic Integrity Policy

Studying and working ethically is part of who we are at Victoria University. The VU Value statements are:

  • always Welcoming,
  • always Ethical,
  • always Shaping the future, and
  • always Together.

'Always Ethical' includes being fair and unbiased in the decisions we make, communicating openly and honestly, and being conscious of the impact we make. Part of academic integrity is thinking about the impact your decisions can have on others, even small things like returning books on time and honouring your library PC and space bookings are part of these values.

Each page of this guide has links out to the student Academic Integrity Modules. Work through them to gain a full understanding of how you can be ethical and work with academic integrity at Victoria University.

The Academic Integrity Policy and Academic Integrity Guidelines provide a framework for navigating the academic integrity environment for students and staff.

Academic Integrity Modules

Study with Academic Integrity. As you start or continue your studies at Victoria University, complete the academic integrity modules. Understand what academic integrity means and why it is important to present authentic work and acknowledge the work of others.

To access these interactive modules you must be enrolled as a VU student.

Link through to Academic Integrity HQ for VU students on VU Collaborate - you need to self-enrol, Navigate to the Academic Integrity Modules and work through the contents and quizzes for each module. Refer Academic Integrity HQ for VU students for further information.

After successfully completing all four modules and quizzes you will receive a Certificate of Achievement. This is a downloadable PDF file which includes the your student name and date of completion. See Academic Integrity Student Guide for instructions on how to download your Certificate.

Research Findings: contract cheating

A recent extensive survey of more than 14,000 Australian university students (Bretag et al., 2019) found that: 

  • 15.3% of students reported engaging in buying, trading or selling notes
  • 27.2% reported providing completed assignments to other students

These 2 activities are classified as ‘sharing behaviours’

  • 5.78% of all student respondents reported engaging in one or more of the five behaviours classified as ‘contract cheating’- these include paying money to obtain an assignment for submission and providing or receiving exam assistance. 
  • The use of professional online services by students still occurs considerably less often then engaging in outsourcing behaviours with people they know such as fellow students.

There are ways to avoid falling into the trap of contract cheating

  • Learning and Support services have a significant role to play in making sure students receive the help and assistance they require. Students are less likely to cheat when they feel capable of achieving successful academic outcomes.
  • The study also suggests that when strong and supportive relationships are built between students and academics, this gives students the best chance of achieving success.
  • Important factors identified which can significantly help students achieve better outcomes are the degree to which students understand what is required in assignments, and that they receive and make use of sufficient and constructive feedback.


Bretag, T., Harper, R., Burton, M., Ellis, C., Newton, P., & Rozenberg, P. (2019). Contract cheating: A survey of Australian university students. Studies in Higher Education, 44(11), 1837-1856.

Other resources
Pens for hire (The Feed)

  • SBS program which presents an undercover investigation into the underground world of academic cheaters.