By Chuleeporn Aramnet,
Tougher anti-cheating measures for future entrance exams of medical faculties will be suggested to the Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT), its president said yesterday.
Mahidol University rector Professor Udom Kachintorn, in his capacity as the CUPT president, said that he would raise the matter at the next meeting of the council.
He said that normally entrance exams from such faculties as Medical, Dentistry and Pharmacy have been subject to strict measures to prevent cheating by those sitting the exams. However, he added, the latest case involving people sitting for the recent exams at Rangsit University indicated that tougher measures were needed.
“We need better measures to prevent cheating for the entire system of university entrance examinations,” Udom said.
The alleged cheaters used glasses with wireless spy cameras linked to smartwatches.
Udom said that normally devices such as watches are banned from exam rooms. “As for eyeglasses, we need to make sure, they are not embedded with a camera,” he added.
“Cheating never occurred in the past exams of medical faculties. But from now on, we need to find tougher measures,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rangsit Unive-rsity is pursuing both civil and criminal actions against at least five suspects behind high-technology cheating on its entrance exams over the weekend.
“One of the suspects has confessed and implicated a tutorial school. It remains unclear whether the other suspects are linked to this same tutor,” president Arthit Ourairat told a press conference yesterday. The university has lodged complaints against the suspects and police are investigating further to nail down their accomplices, he said.
During the admission tests for the medicine, pharmacy and dentistry schools, proctors detected high-tech gadgets on some of the applicants. The exams for these schools have been voided.
One of the test-takers aroused the suspicion of proctors by leaving the exam room early. He was found to have passed on a pair of glasses to another test-taker. A quick look revealed the frames had unusually thick temples.
“A closer examination showed the glasses had an electronic circuit and a camera,” Arthit said.
After the glasses were connected to a computer, photos of the tests appeared. They were apparently sent out to a remote location in real time.
‘Smart watches used’
“Someone had checked the exam questions and relayed the answers to some test-takers via smart watches,” he said.
Proctors found three exam-takers wore smart watches, which received texts with the answers.
“Apparently, the exam cheating was done via a network. We need to find out who else is involved and how widespread this network is,” Arthit said.
The glasses wearers were paid Bt7,000 just to apply for the exam, enter the exam room and make sure the exam papers were captured by the camera hidden in the glasses. “These two are students of another higher-education institution. They don’t study in the science field. So it’s clear there is a team outside that tells the answers,” he said. Three test-takers suspected of cheating are men aged 26, 21 and 22.
One of the suspects confessed that he got a smart watch from a tutorial school after leaving a deposit of Bt50,000, Arthit said.
“He was told to return the gadget after the exam. If the results later showed he secured a seat at Rangsit’s faculty of medicine, he must pay Bt800,000 to the school,” he said. The entrance exams for medicine, dentistry and dental medicine are very competitive. About 3,000 apply, but only about 100 pass. No university officials are believed to be involved in the current case.
Professor Avudh Srisukri, secretary-general of the Consortium of Thai Medical Schools, said the exams arranged by Rangsit were its direct-admission exams.