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About UoL

The University of London is a federation of 17 higher education institutions with a global reach and one of the largest student bodies in the world. They are also one of the oldest universities in the UK and the country’s foremost provider of remote education, offering remote and blended courses internationally.


Having started the research process back in 2018, the University of London accelerated their adoption of digital assessment during the global COVID pandemic. However, as they had already been considering remote delivery for some time, they felt confident choosing their provider after exploring the different options.

When initially researching, Michael Sawyer spoke to people who were already delivering online exams on campus and a couple of proctoring-only companies which eventually led him towards Inspera.


The implementation of digital assessments at the University of London involved a proof-of-concept year, followed by a one-off year contract, and eventually leading to a long-term contract with Inspera. The University aimed to test various ways of delivering assessments, focusing on scalability, robustness, and addressing issues related to proctoring and security. The choice of Inspera was influenced by its ability to handle the massive scale of exams, addressing infrastructure issues and ensuring scalability. This led them to start with two of their largest courses to see how the ecosystem worked at scale.

The academic team has been interested to get involved and discover new and improved ways of assessing candidates. Concerns and questions have been addressed which has helped the implementation run smoothly.

The Results

Approximately 100,000 exam papers at the University of London are facilitated through Inspera per year. With students spanning the globe, including diverse locations including Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan, India, and the Caribbean, the digital assessments have proven to be convenient for students in various time zones. Sawyer highlights the platform’s stability, with successful implementations in different modes – some in exam centers and others through remote proctoring.

Sawyer notes that whilst there is a logistical challenge to running very large-scale exams, “Inspera is the most stable part of the equation” noting that Universities can “have confidence in using Inspera and the scalability and capacity that it offers”

On working with Inspera “I’ve found it really easy. You’re all very responsive. You’ve made it a very easy process”

Looking Ahead

The transition to digital assessments at the University of London has been a significant journey, with inevitable challenges and lessons learned. Sawyer emphasizes the convenience for students and that remote exams are a viable method of delivery. As the University settles into their third year of global use of Inspera, there is a focus on ongoing improvements, resource allocation, and discussions with academic programs to enhance the overall digital assessment experience. The long-term contract with Inspera provides a foundation for future collaborations and innovations.

Sawyer describes Inspera as “the backbone of our exam delivery” and that “we have a solution that does everything that we want it to do”