© Michel Brumat / University of Luxembourg
In a first phase, the university will not use any sort of surveillance software to monitor its students.
The University of Luxembourg explained on Friday evening that the final decision is yet to be taken. The potential use of a video-surveillance platform during the upcoming exams was recently criticised. Due to the pandemic, the exams will held online. Among others, the student association UNEL raised concerns over fundamental rights and privacy.
The university stated that it wanted to make sure that the software fulfilled all criteria, e.g. when it comes to data protection. However, because this complex process could not be completed at short notice this particular instrument will not be used. Instead, the university will make use of different approaches such as oral exams or tests which students can take home with them.
However, this does not mean that the surveillance tool will never be used. The university stated that it wanted to wait for the necessary analysis results, pointing out that only a small part of exams was affected anyway. The university will also inform students beforehand, if the tool will be used and confirmed that students will still be able to refuse being monitored by it. According to a member of the delegation, Sam Bernard, this decision was taken by the University of Luxembourg on Friday afternoon and the students were informed accordingly.
E-mail to students
Dear students, dear colleagues,
I wish to update you on the University’s plans to organize exam sessions in a remote setting, and particularly on the possible use of a remote proctoring tool for a limited number of exams.
The University is under the obligation to ensure the integrity and safety of its exams. A remote proctoring software can help us reach this goal. At the same time, the University wishes to ensure that all modalities of use of such a tool are in line with its obligation to protect the privacy of the users.
As of today, we are still in the process of establishing that the tool under consideration fulfills all criteria in this respect. This is a lengthy and complex process which has been going on for a few weeks already. The fact is however that, at this stage, we do not yet have a fully complete picture.
For the time being, therefore, the University has decided not to use the tool under consideration for the proctoring of remote exams. Until the final details can be clarified, other forms of remote exams will be used (Webex, oral exams, take-home exams). If and when the remote proctoring tool is introduced, this will happen with adequate lead time, allowing for proper preparation and testing, and the students will keep the right to refuse being proctored via the software. In the latter case, the University would assign the student an exam in a different format.
Some of you have expressed their discomfort and have raised concerns about privacy with the solution that the University is exploring. We take these concerns seriously. However, we also take our responsibility towards students and society very seriously. It is important for all our students that we protect the quality of our diplomas. We deploy all efforts to reach this goal.
I wish all students a very good start of exams.