Ghostwriter blows whistle on Australian academic cheating scandal as students pay for assignments

Ghostwriter dubbed ‘The Kenyan’ who helped thousands of cashed-up students cheat lifts the lid on how Australian universities are being rorted

  • The Kenyan worked for Chinese company Assignment Joy writing papers
  • He claims some medical students did not write an assignment in entire degree
  • Struggling international students paid as little as $149 for an assignment
  • The University of Sydney have seen an increase in contract cheating services

A ghostwriter has exposed an extensive academic cheating scheme after writing thousands of assignments for students at major Australian universities.

Known as ‘The Kenyan’, he worked for Chinese company Assignment Joy and wrote papers for struggling international students for as little as $149 ($US100) per 1,000 words.

The ‘academic writer’ labelled the Australian education system a ‘sham’ and said he was concerned by some medical students as they never completed an assignment during their degree.  

The ghostwriter, known as 'The Kenyan', worked for Chinese-based company Assignment Joy (pictured) and had penned thousands of papers for students at dozens of Australia's top universities

The ghostwriter, known as ‘The Kenyan’, worked for Chinese-based company Assignment Joy (pictured) and had penned thousands of papers for students at dozens of Australia’s top universities

‘If you’ve seen all the things I’ve seen your mind would be blown… I have come to realise that the education system is just a sham,’ he told The Australian

‘I have some students who I have worked for since their first year and I’ve done all the assignments until they graduate, just pass and get all the grades.

‘The thing that makes me worried is the medical students who have never done even one assignment since their first day.’

‘The Kenyan’ said 60 per cent of the market was cashed-up Chinese foreign students across bachelor and master degrees including nursing, health science, education, psychology, and business administration.

Fraudulent assignments were written for students at the countries top universities including, the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, and the University of Queensland, papers obtained by The Australian showed.

Others included the University of South Australia, Macquarie University and Torrens University, as well as several TAFEs.

Thousands of people are allegedly employed by Assignment Joy across in Kenya and South Africa for their low labour costs and proficiency in English with ‘The Kenyan’ personally knowing about 50 writers in his field. 

Assignment Joy’s website explains the company provides an ‘essay writing service’ for students attending university in Britain, Australia, the US, New Zealand, and Canada.

‘We provide essay writing and essay polishing counseling, all of which support passing guarantees,’ the website writes. 

‘Often a good paper is the key to your success, so choice is more important than hard work.’ 

The company, which has an office address in Jiangsu, north of Shanghai, and claims to have a base in Sydney, also offers ‘Australian thesis writing’ with pricing based on a grading tier.  

The company offers students 'Australian thesis writing' (pictured). Students are charged based on the grade they wish to achieve

The company offers students ‘Australian thesis writing’ (pictured). Students are charged based on the grade they wish to achieve

Students happy with a C grade paper are charged $30 per 250 words, while those wanting an ‘A grade PhD’ are charged $60 – with pricing subject to the degree of difficulty, its deadlines, and the course major. 

Assignment Joy writers’ level of involvement varied with some providing course material, essential reading, and assignment rubrics to students via email. 

Other students gave their university login details to the ghostwriter allowing them to handle assignment and homework submissions for the entire course.

In an assignment for Diet and Nutrition for Health and Sport at the University of Sydney, one ghostwriter logged into the student’s online portal after being guided through the security verification via Chinese messaging app WeChat. 

The ghostwriter downloaded the material to ‘discuss the energy demands of an elite level athlete’ using ‘comparison data on the average Australian and the elite athlete’. 

The 2,500 word paper was submitted via email the next day and the student was charged US$133 by Assignment Joy. 

The University of Sydney (pictured) said they were extremely concerned with the 'brazen' activity by contract cheating services which have increased since 2019

The University of Sydney (pictured) said they were extremely concerned with the ‘brazen’ activity by contract cheating services which have increased since 2019

The University of Sydney told Daily Mail Australia it saw an increase in aggressive activity by contract cheating companies since 2019 and was working hard to ‘safeguard the integrity of their educational programs’.

‘We are extremely concerned by the brazen activities of contract cheating services that impact universities globally,’ it said.  

‘In response, we developed a multi-pronged strategy [and] continually adjust this strategy as the threat evolves.

‘We take all allegations of academic misconduct seriously, and act on all cases that come to our attention.’

The university said all cases of contract cheating – which is illegal under Australian law – were referred to the registrar for internal and external investigation.

Penalties ranged from suspension to expulsion while students who become the subject of blackmail or ‘unscrupulous behaviour’ from ghostwriters were given support.  

The university added: ‘While the overwhelming majority of our students are diligent and honest, we work with the small percentage of our students that become involved with cheaters.

‘[We] educate them about the risks to their education, reputation and well-being – and support them to extricate themselves from such influences.’

Daily Mail Australia contacted Assignment Joy for comment.  

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