A Four Corners investigation has unearthed alarming new evidence of a decline in academic standards at institutions around the country.
Lecturers and tutors are grappling with a tide of academic misconduct and pressure from faculty managers to pass weak students. Many say commercial imperatives are overtaking academic rigour.
But why is this happening?
As Federal Government funding for universities has declined, Vice-Chancellors have been forced to look elsewhere to fill the void.
And for much of the past two decades, they’ve been tapping into a booming market — full fee-paying overseas students.
Right now the country’s 40 universities are pulling in billions of dollars from students who are desperate for a degree from an Australian university and the possibility of a job and permanent residency.
But to ensure a steady flow of students from overseas, universities have had to ensure their entry requirements are sufficiently low…
…Despite the promises of agents, and after meeting universities’ entry requirements, many don’t have the level of English needed to successfully undertake a degree course.
It’s a situation that leaves students isolated and desperate; a scenario fuelling a thriving blackmarket in plagiarism and the corruption of some academics…
No doubt it’s the same all over the West.