Warning against secret recordings during exams

In the light of an incident at the University of Southern Denmark, Vice-Dean for Education Peder Østergaard encourages all students at Aarhus University to take all of their belongings with them when leaving the examination room, so unfortunate aftermaths can be avoided.

2012.11.20 | Camilla Ransborg Kirkegaard

A student at SDU left his jacket with a switched-on sound recorder in the examination room after the examination and recorded the examiner and the external co-examiner’s discussion of the student’s performance. Vice-Dean for Education Peder Østergaard encourages all members of the teaching staff at Aarhus University to pay special attention. Photo: Colourbox


An unfortunate incident at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) has reverberated throughout the academic world. A student at SDU left his jacket with a switched-on sound recorder in the examination room after the examination and recorded the examiner and the external co-examiner’s discussion of the student’s performance.

 

- The student was not satisfied with his mark and subsequently used the sound recording in his complaint to exert pressure on the examiner and the external co-examiner, says Lars Meldgaard, Director of Studies at the Department of Leadership and Strategy at SDU.

 

According to the student, he simply wanted to record the examination and unfortunately forgot his jacket when leaving the room.

 

Changes in ministerial order exclude recordings
The unfortunate incident at SDU was made possible as the previous Ministerial Order on Tests and Examinations in Professionally Oriented Higher Education Programmes allowed students to record their own examination.

 

However, this has been changed in the most recent order (Ministerial Order No. 714 of 27 June 2012) issued by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education, which states that students are not allowed to use a dichtaphone or smartphone for recording purposes neither before, during or after the examination. Part 5, section 12(5) on examinations, etc. of the Ministerial Order on Tests and Examinations in Professionally Oriented Higher Education Programmes now says:

 

Audio and/or video recordings of a test are not allowed, unless such recordings are considered an integral part of the test process. Such recordings will then be made by the educational institution.

 

The same wording is found in the Ministerial Order on Examinations and External Examination in University Degree Programmes (Ministerial Order No. 666 of 24 June 2012). Therefore, it is now common to all of the university’s degree programmes that students are not allowed to make sound or video recordings.

 

Clear the room before discussing students’ performance
As a result of the incident at SDU, Peder Østergaard, Vice-Dean for Education at BSS, and Povl Tiedemann, Head of Administration at the Secretariat for External Examiners, now warn the teaching staff and external co-examiners at BSS and AU.

 

- It is very important that students pay attention to take all of their things with them when leaving the room after the examination, before the examiners discuss the students’ performance. No matter whether it happens by accident or deliberately, it may have serious consequences, so we strongly encourage everyone to treat this matter with great care, says Peder Østergaard.

 

According to section 263 of the Danish Penal Code, any person who “makes unauthorised use of a device to secretly listen in on or record statements made in private, telephone conversations or other conversations between other parties or discussions in closed-door meetings, in which he is not participating, or to which he has gained unauthorised access" can be punished with a fine or imprisonment of up to six months.

 

 

Further information

 

Povl Tiedemann
Head of Administration at the Secretariat for External Examiners
School of Business and Social Sciences
Aarhus University
T: (+45) 8715 2484 
M: (+45) 2478 3207
E: povlt@asb.dk

 

Students