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Fraud in higher education: a system for detection and prevention

Tony de Souza-Daw (Melbourne Polytechnic, Preston, Australia)
Robert Ross (Department of Electronic Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 5 March 2021




Academic corruption and fraudulent practices have become problematic in recent years. Governments around the world have introduced dedicated higher education commissions to regulate higher education providers. The purpose of this paper is to design a system for the detection and prevention framework of fraudulent behaviour in higher education.


This paper performs a survey on academic misconduct practices and expands the survey by analysing the accreditation process. This study further identifies common corrupt practices in the accreditation process with reference to particular accreditation standards or laws. If the accreditation process is as thorough as, this paper is led to believe, a higher institute may stop being compliant immediately after the accreditation process. playing a catch-me-if-you-can at the next accreditation cycle. The survey of the accreditation process and identification of corrupt practices lead to an identification of preventative and detective measures.


The review of accreditation procedures and conditions identifies that fraudulent practices can occur at every part of any policy and procedure. The framework prevents repudiation and allows for spontaneous investigations internally and externally. The blockchain prevented changes to the system and allow for auditing of changes. A system such as this could suppress accreditation fraud and minimise its corrupt impact. Not to mention identify with relative ease the severity and life of corrupt practice.


Contributions are made in the framework for detecting and preventing corrupt practices in Higher Education using blockchain immutable transactions. This enables real-time accreditation compliance checks and monitoring of conditions. External complaints or reviews can be conducted with minimum interactions from higher education providers.



de Souza-Daw, T. and Ross, R. (2021), "Fraud in higher education: a system for detection and prevention", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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