Attention, all cribbers! It will be almost impossible for you to cheat during exams in the future. Following steps already taken at Erasmus MC, all faculties are planning to introduce a stringent package of anti-cheating measures. The existing regulations have turned out to be hopelessly behind the times in an era of smart phones and watches.

If you’ve got an exam coming up in the near future, leave your watch at home. And, while you’re at it, you can leave your phone at home too. The reason for this is that students at all faculties are not allowed to wear watches during exams as from 1 September 2014.

Detectors at the toilets

Phones have already been banned, but the university is now going one step further and installing superintendents with detectors at the toilets during examination time. This is intended to prevent digital cheating. And you won’t be allowed to take any notes you make on paper during the exams out of the examination room either.

Same rules

The same rules will be in force at all faculties. And this is a pretty unusual state of affairs, because in principle each faculty has the right to decide what rules will apply during exams, through its own examining board. The university has announced that it definitely wants to know that all examinations ‘will be held in a similar way’ and this was followed by ‘agreements of a general nature’. Another remarkable fact is that these regulations have already been in force at Erasmus MC for a whole year.

‘Absolutely vital’

The reason behind all this is the emergence of smart technology. The old regulations made no mention of the digital cheating that can be done nowadays using a smart watch. Erik-Hans Klijn, former president of the FSW examining board, says it is ‘absolutely vital’ that measures are now taken to combat this. ‘Cheating during examinations is one of the weak points in quality assessment,’ he says. ‘Doubts about quality cause tremendous damage to our image.’

It seems as if all the other faculties agree with this. Jeroen Jansz, president of the ESHCC examining board, says that there is ‘widespread consensus’ on the need to implement more stringent measures.

No double proof of identity

However, the faculties did refuse to make double proof of identity compulsory (student card plus ID card), but there is still uncertainty regarding a ban on students using their own writing materials during examinations. The university has not announced a potential ban to date.

Privacy and comfort

These new measures have given rise to questions about students’ privacy and comfort. As University Council member Mark van Leeuwen puts it: ‘We’re wondering where this is all going to end. Where is the university going to draw the line? We’d very much like an answer to all these questions.’ The University Council will be putting questions on the tightening up of the examination regulations to the Executive Board later on this month. EO