A group of future doctors have accused Dundee University of allowing students to cheat in exams and “unfair” teaching during lockdown.
The group of second-year medical students say they received “practically no teaching” at the end of their first year during the coronavirus lockdown.
However, despite the end-of-year exams in May being cancelled, they are now being asked to sit these exams remotely online next month.
Students claim a number have said they will resort to cheating in their exams, with some even saying they will get qualified doctors or senior medical students to sit their exams for them.
In a statement, the group said: “The medical school provided practically no teaching for first-year students for the duration of lockdown, resulting in 20-25% of the academic year being lost.
“Despite not providing any teaching during the entirety of lockdown, the medical school is going ahead with exams for its first-year students and these exams will include the material that has not been taught.
“The uncertainty that has been caused by the actions and decisions of the medical school has pushed many students to admit they are going to cheat.
“We have classmates admitting they will have doctors or senior students taking the exam with them or for them and our school is blatantly turning a blind eye to it despite the promises and assurances we were given.
“The only answer we keep receiving [from the school] is ‘we trust that our students will not cheat’.”
It is understood these exams will contribute around 15% of their overall mark for the first year, which will be used when the students go on to apply for foundation programmes.
The student group added they have raised their concerns with the medical school on multiple occasions.
They continued: “These events have led us to, unfortunately, lose hope and faith in our school.
“The 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 and who had to be self-taught because their school refused to organise teaching?
“We are beyond disappointed and frustrated by the way we have been treated and repeatedly dismissed.”
A spokesman for the university said it is “unfair” to accuse any student of cheating before they have had a chance to sit their exams.
They said: “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 has been receiving teaching, although under challenging circumstances due to the pandemic.
“Students will only be tested on what they have been taught.
“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.
“Students have been given clear guidance on what would constitute cheating and what would not.
“This has been provided in a recent communication sent to the year group, as well as during a Q&A with the academic year lead.
“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 that have been set for them.”