What is academic misconduct?

There are a number of ways in which coursework students may not meet UOW’s expectations for academic integrity in the work they prepare or submit for assessment tasks, including exams.

Types of academic misconduct at UOW

  • cheating
    • for instance, if you buy or exchange an assessment task from a friend or an online site, or if you cheat in an exam or test
  • collusion
    • for instance, if you collaborate with other students on an assessment task without permission, or if you help another student to cheat
  • fraud
    • if you are impersonated by someone else for an exam, assessment task or online activity
  • fabrication/misrepresentation
    • for instance, if you are misleading about the amount of work you have done for a group task, or if you fabricate information or data in an assessment task, or if you submit a fake Turnitin report
  • interference/obstruction
    • for instance, if you unfairly prevent other students from accessing study resources or completing their work
  • plagiarism
    • for instance, if you don’t properly acknowledge the source of information used in your work, or if you re-use your own work without permission

Download the Guide to 6 Types of Academic Misconduct for more detail and examples of each of these types of possible academic misconduct.

Depending on the type and extent of the failure of academic integrity expectations, it may constitute academic misconduct. UOW takes academic misconduct seriously and there are a range of penalties for students.
These penalties may apply even if you did not know that what you were doing was wrong, so it is very important that you make sure you understand how to work with academic integrity. The penalties are much more serious if you cheat deliberately.

Examples of penalties for academic misconduct

  • Letter of warning
  • Request for more information
  • A mark penalty for the task
  • Resubmission with mark penalty
  • Submission of a different task
  • Zero marks for the task
  • Technical fail of the subject
  • Suspension from study
  • Expulsion from UOW

A finding of academic misconduct can have other serious consequences

For example:

  • if you are an international student on a student visa and are suspended or excluded from the University, you may lose your eligibility to remain in Australia
  • if you have a scholarship, you may risk losing it or having to repay it
  • if, in the future, you seek professional accreditation that involves the assessment of ‘good character’ (such as in law, nursing or accounting), you may be required to disclose whether you have been the subject of an investigation of academic misconduct, regardless of the outcome.

Academic misconduct is a serious matter and will be treated very seriously at UOW.

Records of academic misconduct

The Faculty will record cases of confirmed academic misconduct, and will report these cases to a Central Register. The Faculty will also record instances of Poor Academic Practice, where it is determined that the breach of academic integrity was not serious enough to warrant serious penalties. Findings of Poor Academic Practice will be kept on Local Registers in each Faculty, and will be double-checked in the case of repeated misconduct.

The main purpose of these Registers is to allow Academic Integrity Officers (AIOs) to identify students who have already been involved in academic misconduct because:

  • second determinations of Poor Academic Practice may be treated more seriously because of a prior record
  • penalties for second or further offences of Academic Misconduct will be increasingly severe

The University recognises that this information is confidential and access to view records held in the Register is strictly limited to authorised staff. In the interests of fairness to students when investigating cases of alleged academic misconduct, the Registers will only be consulted after it has been determined that a breach of academic integrity has been committed.