Using a sent link, journalists could see into the living room of students doing exams. Names and student numbers were also visible. The phone images were intended for online proctors, but the journalists were not required to identify themselves, nor did they need a password or access code.

In a message posted on the website on Sunday, the university offered its ‘sincere apologies’ for the problems with online proctoring. Some exams will not take place this week. Around thirty percent have been postponed, said a spokesperson.

Going ahead

The other exams can go ahead, because they are open book-exams, for example, for which no proctoring is required, or because they are being taken in person, despite the lockdown.

“We obviously find that students are experiencing more stress during this pandemic,” says the spokesperson. “What’s more, we are asking them to do something we would never normally do: to film themselves during an exam. It’s then distressing if things go wrong. We are doing everything we can to resolve the problems.”

Online proctoring is controversial, partly because of the risks for the privacy of students. At the same time, the risk of fraud is greater during online exams.