One of the world’s most famous education establishments is set to scrap handwritten exams – breaking with more than eight centuries of tradition.
Cambridge University is considering the move as students’ handwriting becomes harder to read as they increasingly rely on laptops or other electronic devices.
The university has reportedly launched a consultation on the issue as part of its “digital education strategy”, with students asked whether they would like the option to type exams.
Dr Sarah Pearsall, a senior lecturer at Cambridge’s History Faculty who was involved with the pilot earlier this year, told the Daily Telegraph that handwriting is becoming a “lost art” among students.
She said: “Fifteen or twenty years ago students routinely have written by hand several hours a day – but now they write virtually nothing by hand except exams.”
She said they had been concerned for years about declining handwriting, adding there had definitely a “downward trend”.
“It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read these scripts,” she said.
(Top picture: PA)