British Columbia

Woman allegedly paid to take exam arrested at SFU

Police in Burnaby are investigating allegations of cheating during an exam at Simon Fraser University. The school's registrar wrote in a letter to students that someone impersonating a student had been caught writing an exam in exchange for money.

University sent warning letter to students after alleged violation of academic conduct

Burnaby RCMP arrested a 26-year-old woman after an incident of alleged impersonation at SFU. (SFU)

Police in Burnaby, B.C., are investigating allegations of cheating during an exam at Simon Fraser University last week and say they arrested one person.

The incident was outlined in a letter to students from SFU's registrar and vice-provost, Rummana Khan Hemani.

In the letter, Hemani wrote: "We caught someone impersonating a student in order to write an exam in exchange for money."

Burnaby RCMP said they were called to the university by campus security last Thursday.

Police said officers arrested a 26-year-old woman for possession of forged documents, but no charges have been laid and the woman has been released on a promise to appear.

Police did not identify the woman.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Hemani said the school is aware the incident is an active police investigation.

"The matter is with the police. We cannot comment on the individual student's situation. That matter is with our student conduct office, and we will be co-ordinating with the RCMP.

A letter from SFU's registrar to students said the incident occurred during last week's fall exams. (Shutterstock/arrowsmith2)

In the letter, Hemani warned students that violations of the academic conduct policy and any related criminal offences are taken "very seriously."

"When we discover these types of activities, we take all actions available to hold those involved accountable," she wrote.

Exam cheating has been in the spotlight since several elite American colleges and universities became embroiled in an admissions scam involving wealthy and celebrity parents who paid expert test-takers and offered bribes to get their children admitted to prestigious schools.

Ultimately, Hemani wants to make sure students realize there are mechanisms in place to help them.

"There are authorized tutoring services or authorized tutors. There are number of offices and resources within the institution available to support our students when they are in some sort of difficulty, you know, struggling with a course or struggling generally. ... and to do that in a way that they don't end up breaching university policies, which you know has sort of a counter-effect to what the student is probably trying to achieve."

With files from Chantelle Bellrichard