The Ministry of Education (MOE) announced yesterday that it had issued a NT$600,000 (S$26,080) fine to an individual who offered to write essays and theses for university students.
The individual reportedly ran a website offering "specialised thesis-writing services" for master's and doctorate candidates looking to cut corners as the graduation season draws near.
Huang Wen-ling, director of MOE's Department of Higher Education, said that since the MOE announced its guidelines regarding substitute thesis writing in June 2013, they have been tipped off by concerned citizens about the website. The MOE had not been able to prove conclusively that the website was advertising illegal substitute thesis writing until recently.
Huang said that in the past the MOE only penalized students who hired substitute writers, but not the writers themselves or those who advertise such services. That is no longer the case, she said.
The Ministry of Education held a meeting today at Taipei University, which discussed matters concerning university admissions and examinations. With graduation season approaching, the Department of Higher Education reminded schools to note cases of fraud related to dissertation-writing.
Hunag stressed said that the MOE is not an investigating authority and will act only upon reports of wrongdoings.