The theme of the 7APCEI conference was “new frontiers in academic integrity”. Higher education and academic integrity are both at a crossroads, as academic integrity policies and practices are struggling to keep up with new technologies, the explosion of opportunists working in the online cheating industry, and the shifts in understandings about plagiarism, copying and appropriation in popular culture. At the same, the broader educational integrity of universities is itself being questioned, particularly regarding the recruitment of international students and the exploitation of sessional teaching staff.
It is more urgent than ever that new educational approaches to academic integrity be imagined, so that new frontiers and opportunities for teaching and learning can minimise risk and ensure our academic standards. In Australia, for instance, the Tertiary Education and Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) requires that Higher Education providers have policies and processes in place to demonstrate academic quality assurance. Within these guidelines, providers must demonstrate evidence of effective implementation of systematic processes at all levels to maintain academic integrity and to prevent misconduct. This 7APCEI conference’s focus on the new frontiers of academic integrity is therefore extremely topical, as universities are increasingly pressured to show evidence of their management and promotion of academic integrity.
In keeping with the conference theme of new frontiers, this was the first time that an APFEI conference was held in rural Australia rather than in a major city. Additionally, many opportunities were provided for online participation by distance or transnational delegates.
Special speakers included Dr Anthony McLaren, the new CEO of the Australian Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) and Dr Robert Waldersee, Executive Director of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).