Maastricht University declared an online exam of 1,200 students invalid, because afterwards it turned out that something went wrong and people copied it. The university reports this in an email to students who have seen

The Quantitative Methods 2 exam was held on June 12. This happened online, because students still study from home because of the coronavirus.

Strict time limits applied during the exam to prevent students from looking up information online. In addition, the order of the questions had to be different for each student, to make it more difficult to exchange correct answers.

An error had been made when setting up the exam software, which meant that many people had the questions in the same order. The exam was administered in three groups, with each group being presented the same order.

Students exchanged answers in chat groups

As a result, the university says it cannot guarantee the academic integrity of the exam. In addition, afterwards it turned out that students exchanged answers in chat groups.

"There is evidence that a significant proportion of students copied during the exam," the email sent said. "It is therefore unfortunately impossible to penalize a single viewer. Therefore, we cannot fairly assess the performance of individual students."

Although the exam has been declared invalid, some of the students have still passed. Everyone who has passed the previous partial tests will receive the same assessment for the exam. Other students can take a resit in July.

Deployment of surveillance software leads to criticism

In recent months, schools and universities have struggled with how they can honestly administer tests during the corona pandemic.

Tilburg University and the University of Amsterdam, among others, chose to use surveillance software, which led to criticism from students. The program is said to be an excessive invasion of privacy.

See also: Students go to court for surveillance software during exams