Study @ Unisa

Student values & plagiarism


Unisa students commit to these values

These values define our conduct and our focus in providing an environment, a culture and a service that will shape and allow us to fully live and exemplify our values:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Discipline
  • Honesty
  • Commitment
  • Humanity

Unisa has a zero tolerance for any form of dishonesty or cheating activity related to assessments and exams

We wish to remind all students that Unisa has a zero tolerance for any form of assessment and examination dishonesty or cheating.

Any student who is found to have participated in any fraudulent or dishonest activity related to assessments or exams (eg possession of unauthorised notes or exam papers, external parties assisting with assessments) will be referred to the Student Disciplinary Unit for investigation and disciplinary action. If found guilty, they will have their modules cancelled and their marks withdrawn. They will also face up to a maximum of five years suspension from the university and from all universities in South Africa. Click here for the Unisa rules for students and the Student Disciplinary Code.

The university appeals to students with any information on dishonest or fraudulent activity related to Unisa exams to report it to the Fraud/Corruption Hotline on telephone number 0800 005 311 or send an e-mail to 

Did you know that plagiarism is a form of dishonesty?

Plagiarism is taking someone else's thoughts, ideas or writings and passing them off as your own. It's a serious academic offence, which can result in a student being expelled, and impacting on the student's standing with other universities and academic institutions.

Here are some tips to ensure you don't plagiarise:

  • Acknowledge the original source whenever you use a fact, phrase, chart or quotation from someone else's work. Remember to paraphrase in your own words.
  • Keep careful notes of every source you consult when working on an assessment, so that you never use a source without proper acknowledgement.
  • Never copy and paste anything from the internet without also copying the URL (where you found it), so that you can provide a full reference for the source and correct in-text citations.
  • Don't use the work of fellow students.

There are many online tools that you can use to check your work for plagiarism. It's always a good idea to submit this check along with your assessment.

Plagiarism in assessments and during exams

All academic work, written or otherwise, submitted by a student is expected to be the result of his or her own work. The university views acts of copyright infringement and plagiarism as a serious offence.

Plagiarism is the act of taking words, ideas and thoughts of others and presenting it as your own. It is a form of theft which involves a number of dishonest academic activities. Please read the University’s Policy on Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism, the Policy on Academic Integrity and the Student Disciplinary Code.

Students are advised to study the Disciplinary Code, especially chapter 3 (1.19).

Plagiaristic actions

All the below actions include any part of your assessments, even a single paragraph:

Plagiaristic actions


Collaborating on any form of assessment without the permission of the lecturer
  • Submitting an assessment where you were working with fellow students or any outside party in WhatsApp groups.
Completing or taking an assessment or examination on behalf of another student
  • Submitting an assessment bought from any party.

  • Using an assessment that you obtained on WhatsApp or Telegram or any other medium.

Possessing, distributing and/or using unauthorised materials or technology before or during an examination or when preparing formative assessments


  • Using WhatsApp or another medium to obtain help from another person during your assessment or examination.
  • Copy-pasting from websites on the internet for your assessment or examination.

Contracting (ghost or contract cheating) another person or professional agency to produce academic work, sometimes original work, on your behalf and then submitting it as your own academic output

Copying from another student for the purpose of completing any assessment

  • Paying another person or website to do your assessment or examination.
  • You may not use any previous assessment and submit it in a new year of registration.

Take action against contract cheating

Enlisting the help of a third party to complete examinations, assessments or coursework on your behalf is considered contract cheating. Examples of contract cheating include

  • paying for services to complete an exam or assessment.
  • allowing someone to access your myUnisa account or module site to assist with assessments.
  • uploading and sharing course material to sites that have not been vetted by the university and which claim to offer study help or tutoring.

Contract cheating usually occurs due to a lack of time or understanding of assessment content or course expectations. The risks are, however, far greater than the benefits of this practice. Those who engage in contract cheating risk devaluing the quality of a degree, threaten the security of student identity and data, and jeopardise the reputation and brand of the institution. 

Some of the consequences of contract cheating include receiving zero for an assessment or exam, suspension, expulsion or even the revocation of a degree or credential. 

You can help prevent contract cheating by

  • doing your own work.
  • not accessing "study help" websites where student work is posted.
  • notifying the university if you find any Unisa course material on sites that are not connected to Unisa. 
  • forwarding communication soliciting help with assessments in exchange for payment to Unisa.

The university appeals to students with any information on dishonest or fraudulent activity related to Unisa exams to report it to the Fraud/Corruption Hotline on telephone number 0800 005 311.

Be aware of companies falsely advertising Unisa services

It has come to our attention that some companies and social media pages have been falsely advertising Unisa online information and various services to assist Unisa students. In the process, companies either solicit money fraudulently from students or make money through online advertising with no benefit to students.

These companies are in no way associated with or related to Unisa.

We request that students only use official Unisa sites and platforms, as any other platforms will provide you with incorrect information and/or act illegally which will be harmful to your studies. 

Unisa will always use official communication channels (eg Unisa website, myUnisa, Unisa social media platforms, myLife e-mail) to communicate with students. 

Please use the following Unisa platforms for official Unisa information:

Please report anyone falsely advertising Unisa services or illegal activity to: 

Ethics Hotline

Last modified: 2024/02/26