SYDNEY, March 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In the current climate, it's a terrifying prospect: being at close quarters for hours in a room full of strangers with unknown travel and health statuses. But that's the reality facing millions of students needing to take exams.
Rebecca Niemiec, Head of Exam Management at education technology firm Janison, said her company, which delivered 4.7million exams in more than 100 countries in the past 12 months, has been inundated with calls from universities about the impact of coronavirus.
"Anxiety is escalating," she said. "We've received enquiries from staff who supervise exams, venues, education providers and even the students themselves.
"They're all very concerned about health and safety. We're seeing significantly higher rates of agitation from candidates if there's another candidate in the room who appears unwell."
Universities' business continuity plans are also at stake. For Australia, international higher education is the country's fourth largest export - and more than $3billion is at risk if travel bans continue.
A survey by Education Consultants Association of Australia found 32 per cent of more than 16,000 stranded international students would enrol in another country if they couldn't reach Australia for 2020's first semester.
Meantime, in the UK, exam boards including Ofqual plan to delay GCSEs and A-levels. Ofqual said it's planning "for a range of scenarios", The Times has reported.
The situation of students looking for alternatives to Australia is entirely avoidable, with universities accelerating their take-up of digital education delivery tools, according to Derek Welsh, Chief Operating Officer at Janison. The company runs digital exams monitored by AI-assisted proctoring technology that allows students to take exams from home via webcam with even tighter security than that offered in a bricks-and-mortar exam hall.
"We believe that in time this trend will emerge as less of a contingency plan and more of the normal," Mr Welsh said.
"The past months highlight the need for higher education to leverage digital solutions to allow institutions to deliver education remotely and help mitigate situations like this."
Janison remotely manages large-scale, high-stakes digital exams across the world, including for higher education, language testing for the British Council and schools testing for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
It's one of several providers who demonstrate that technology can protect one of the world's biggest assets.
For media enquiries, contact Derek Welsh on +61 2 6652 9850. Visit www.janison.com
SOURCE JANISON SOLUTIONS PTY LTD