Sally Zhang* recently bought an essay from a ghostwriter for the first time — not because she struggles to write, but rather so she could enjoy an early holiday.
- The Government has proposed legislation making it an offence to provide or advertise so-called “contract cheating” services
- Some students pay hundreds of dollars to have ghostwriters complete their assignments
- Research shows a global increase in students using contract cheating services in recent years
Ms Zhang, a Chinese international student who is undertaking a postgraduate degree at the University of Western Australia, took up the service on WeChat last month after being bombarded with offers from various ghostwriting agencies under the guise of friend requests.
“[The ghostwriting agencies] send me messages from time to time,” she said.
“They often post ads on their WeChat moments with tempting words like ‘It’s almost the holiday. Throw us your assignments, go and enjoy yourself.”
Ms Zhang told the ABC she paid $600 for a 3,000-word project proposal and is still waiting for her grade.
However, businesses offering such services could soon be made illegal under legislation proposed by the Federal Government earlier this week.
People found guilty under the proposed law — which will make it an offence to provide or advertise so-called “contract cheating” services — could face up to two years in prison or a fine of up to $210,000.