China uses drones to spy on aspiring university students

Drones are being used to spy on pupils during university entrance examinations in China to stop them from cheating, according to Chinese media. Officials in Luoyang, central China, have adopted the high-tech method to monitor students while they take the notoriously difficult tests. The silent-flying drones will hover over students during university entrance exams known as ‘gaokao’, which are taken by more than nine million teenagers every year. The devices will use 360 degree rotations to scan testing halls and locate suspicious radio signals created by hidden earpieces used to obtain the answers to exam questions.

They can hover in the air for up to half an hour and monitor activity from heights of up to 1,640 feet, according to Chinese news website People’s Daily Online. The exams, which are spread over two days, are famously difficult and students face the added pressure of a shortfall of university places. Only 6.5 million admissions are accepted, resulting in one in three students being unsuccessful in their bid to continue studying.

One secondary school in Hebei province had to install ‘anti-suicide’ barriers earlier this year to prevent students jumping to their deaths. In the past, students are reported to have cheated by using a special pen that takes pictures of questions and transmits them to an outside accomplice who in turn provides answers via a secret earphone.