Dundee medical students have been left with little option but to cheat in an upcoming online exam, it has been claimed.
A whistleblower from the university’s second year cohort of medical students has struck out against a lack of direct teaching during lockdown and has criticised the university for planning to set questions on areas that have not been covered in class, a claim denied by the university.
The student, who claims to speak for a group of similarly aggrieved colleagues, said the university’s medical school “provided practically no teaching for first year students for the duration of the lockdown, resulting in 20-25% of the academic year being lost.”
The student has said other members of the year group are planning to cheat in a forthcoming online exam scheduled for October, in part due to the “injustice” of lecturers setting questions based on the missed course work.
The whistleblower said: “We have reached a point where the school is continuously dismissing our concerns regarding the unfair exam they have set up.
“It has been made clear that their intentions are to turn a blind eye to the cheating that is bound to happen as a result of their actions.
“We feel that this situation is not fair or ethical but after having been repeatedly ignored we have no other option but to expose them in hopes that they will change the decisions they have made that have led us here.”
The exam is slated for the week commencing October 19 with resits in the week beginning November 23.
“We have classmates admitting they will have doctors or senior students taking the exams with them, or for them, and our school is blatantly turning a blind eye to it,” the whistleblower added.
“This matter, however, is not only about the lack of justice and equality, but also about the kind of doctors this school is preparing. Who would like to be treated by doctors who were openly allowed to cheat in their exams?”
A Dundee University spokesman said he was aware of the claims and stressed “students will only be tested on what they have been taught.”
He said: “We have responded directly to the students. As one of the UK’s leading medical schools we take our responsibility and duty of care to the public very seriously, to ensure that we continue to assess that students are safe to progress.
“The group have been receiving teaching, although under challenging circumstances due to the pandemic.”
He said students have been given clear guidance on what would constitute cheating and what would not ahead of the exam.
“In relation to the concerns raised over ‘cheating’ it is unfair to level any such accusation at students before they have even sat the exam in question.
“There is robust evidence that the approach we are taking to exams for this group does not engender cheating or unfair behaviour.
“Other large medical institutions have utilised this approach and the evidence has shown the student group did not increase their overall score, suggesting cheating did not occur.
“We trust our student doctors to follow the guidelines,” he said.