Exam invigilators refused to replace student’s calculator

He now has to pay to resit his exam.

A UEA Finance student had his calculator confiscated from an exam due to it being the wrong brand. But when he asked to be able to use one of the spare calculators at the front of the exam hall invigilators refused to let him use one.
With one invigilator claiming it wasn’t their problem. This meant that even the most simple questions on his paper became practically impossible for him to answer.
The student, Moritz Burkle, spoke with us. He first started by saying how much he loved UEA and that it has been “incredibly accommodating” and “flexible” when it has come to his own disability. He went onto state; “What I experienced today has left my absolutely shocked and furious. 15 minutes into my exam I was approached by an invigilator who informed me that I had the wrong brand of calculator and that she would have to confiscate it. I understand the logic behind this and fully complied, handing it over without complaint
However, when I asked for a replacement the situation took a turn for the worse. Initially, she told me that it wouldn’t be a problem, and that she’d speak to someone. That someone denied me access to a calculator.”

His confiscated calculator wasn’t even returned to him

Moritz told us how there were multiple spare calculators around the exam hall and how even some invigilators had there own. One student leaving the exam offered to let him use his, however, invigilators still did not allow him to use one.

“I was left in a finance exam without a calculator. How is this supporting your students? This cannot be the first time this has happened to a student, and it ridiculous that UEA’s policy for such a situation is “tough luck”. I pay UEA £9000 a year. It is absurd that you can’t even lend me a calculator”

What is perhaps most shocking is the reported attitude of the staff there. Moritz told us how one member of staff approached him and when he explained the situation the invigilator “shrugged and said, “not my problem” while showing off his own calculator, like he was getting a kick out of it.”

A typical Casio calculator.

He added finally that he understands this is a serious accusations, however two other students in the exam hall provide support to his story. Lubos Zvoc stating “They were such d*cks about it…he was not doing anything against the exam rules. There were several calculators available on the desk outside of the examination room but the teacher refused to provide one for Moritz.”

Tomas Ambrakaitis, the fellow student who offered his own calculator once he had finished told us “He, the steward, refused to allow Moritz to take any calculator in, his [the steward’s] or mine, even though I just left the exam, and there was no way anything shady could have been going on.”  adding “It was definitely horrible of them not to let Moritz take it”.

Moritz reached out to his advisor for help telling us initially there was some difficultly but as they discussed the issue their conversation became more productive. He finished by saying “Needless to say, I don’t feel very confident in my results. Now I’m going to have to apply and pay for a resit, as well as cancel all my summer plans, including a well-paying internship.”

We reached out the university for a comment on this issue, a spokesperson told us; “A list of university-approved calculators is available on the LTS Exams Pages on the student portal, and only these are authorised for use in exams. The rules are made clear to students, who are also informed that the Assessment Office will not replace calculators, that unauthorised equipment will be confiscated for the duration of the exam, and that it is their own responsibility to ensure they have the correct equipment. If a complaint is made, the University will investigate it fully and the student has the opportunity to submit an Extenuating Circumstances form.”

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