Five Belatedly Admitted to Medical School after Test Result Miscalculation Discovery

Háskóli Íslands University of Iceland

Five applicants were belatedly admitted to the University of Iceland’s undergraduate medical program after an error in the admission examination test result calculations was discovered.

According to initial results, they were far from being accepted. More than 400 applicants were registered for the notoriously difficult medical school entrance exam in early June. At the beginning of July, the examination results were available and 55 were offered admission, but Árni Daniel Árnason and Þórður Björgvin Þórðarson were not admitted. Árni Daniel came in 150th place and Þórður Björgvin managed 130th place.

“I felt maybe I had actually done better so I just asked for a breakdown of the results, that way I would know what I could do better if I would try again later,” says Árni Daniel told RÚV.

Þórður Björgvin Þórðarson also requested a breakdown of the test results. “When I saw this number, I knew that some mistake must have been made, either by me or by the medical school examiners.”

In mid-August the individual test results were available and they both asked to see the exam results. Those applicants whose results were closest to passing were offered a first look. But then Þórður Björgvin was called.

“At first I thought it was just an office manager calling to let me know that I would finally be able to check exam results.”

“I sat there in a philosophy class at the University of Iceland’s law school, where I had been studying for three weeks, when I got this call,” says Árni Daniel.

It was Engilbert Sigurðsson, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, who invited them to begin their studies in the Faculty of Medicine. According to Engilbert, a student had discovered a calculation error when he was going over his examination results. The Faculty of Medicine contacted the mathematicians who calculated the tests and asked them to review the calculations who discovered that five more had actually qualified for admission. The Faculty of Medicine subsequently decided to increase the student body to 60. Engilbert emphasised that no one who was already admitted to the Faculty of Medicine was there on false grounds. According to the correct results, Árni Daniel came in 23rd place and Þórður Björgvin in 28th place. On Friday when Þórður Björgvin went to his job where he works part-time in addition to his math studies, everyone was happy for him.

“There was a bouquet of flowers and a card with my name on it, and a surprise party. It was absolutely priceless. I’m completely surrounded by good people all around me.”

“For three weeks I got to try the Law studies which I have long wanted to do, and that gave me a little bit of an introduction to law but I also got to chase the dream and go into medicine,” says Árni Daníel, who has just begun looking at Medical school textbooks for the first time at 12:30 in the morning.

National Broadcasting Service to be Removed from Advertising Market

Lilja Alfreðsdóttir is one of the people nominated for Person of the Year.

Minister of Education Lilja Alfreðsdóttir announced ambitious plans to remove RÚV, the state-run Icelandic Broadcasting Company, from the advertising market. Although no such plans have been formally announced by the government, the Minister of Education wants to open discussion on the proposal. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir is open to the idea but wants to see increased funding for the RÚV. An Independent Party MP stated that before deciding on state funding, RÚV’s role and obligations must be clearly defined.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir agrees that it is a realistic possibility to take RÚV out of the advertising market. “That is the arrangement in several of our neighbouring countries but that arrangement has a long history. What I would like to suggest is to examine what effect the change in policy would have on the Icelandic advertising market; that is, whether the more than two billion (US$16 million) that the RÚV receives in advertising revenue would end up going to other national media outlets or whether the money ends up, for example, abroad,” says the Prime Minister.

She wants the RÚV to be compensated financially for the amount it will lose if it leaves the advertising market. “I would like to make up for the budget shortfall by raising the radio fee,” which is paid by all Icelanders. “I don’t think the funding for public media should be part of the government’s budget. ”

Independence Party MP Óli Björn Kárason says that there are two separate issues; on the one hand what should be the level of funding to the state media and, on the other, whether the state should be in an unfair competition with private companies. “One point is to reach a decision as to whether or not to continue funding RÚV. If we are going to do so, let’s do it in a way that has the least negative impact on Iceland’s private media. RÚV’s dependence on advertising revenues destroys and distorts Iceland’s independent media. It is therefore right and natural for RÚV to disappear from the advertising market, not only for that reason,”

“With the so-called revenue loss that may come once RÚV ceases to sell advertising, it’s simply another matter. This has nothing to do with whether or not state-owned enterprises should be allowed to compete unfairly with private companies, in this case the advertising market. The question of funding to RÚV is quite different and relates to the obligations and role RÚV should fulfill, which would reasonably be answered in due course before we start thinking about whether to make up for a loss of revenue, in quotation marks, from advertising sales. I believe it should start with this question. Once that’s decided one can debate whether RÚV needs to secure increased income or whether it will make less money than it currently has,” Óli Björn explains.

Education Minister Lilja says it is unclear when she will announce her plans for RÚV to the Government. “At some point, I will. I am now considering the matter and am looking at how best to realize this idea. I think debate on the issue is important and that the process is best done incrementally.”

Hackers Defraud Nearly Four Hundred Million From Power Company

Why is Iceland so expensive?

Foreign hackers have defrauded a considerable sum, reportedly nearly four hundred million ISK (over US $3,000,000), from Icelandic power company HS Orka. CEO Ásgeir Margeirsson says it was clearly a carefully planned crime. Although most of the funds are expected to be recovered, a police investigation is ongoing.

HS Orka’s staff realized a few weeks ago that the company’s computer system had been broken into and that significant funds had been pilfered. The case was reported in the local news today while police authorities both in Iceland and abroad are working to recover the funds, which Fréttablaðið reported to be a staggering sum of nearly 3.2 million US dollars. In an interview with mbl.is, Ásgeir would not confirm or deny the amount stolen.

HS Orka operates two geothermal plants that are located in Svartsengi at the sight of the famous Blue Lagoon and Reykjanes, just west of the Keflavik International Airport. The company is privately owned by both Icelandic and foreign shareholders. Around half of the company’s shares are owned by local pension funds.

Because this is a serious police matter, CEO Ásgeir Margeirsson naturally wants to avoid disclosing any information on how the thieves managed to pull off the robbery for the time being but revealed that it was HS Orka’s employees who discovered the fraud.

Ásgeir says that HS Orka’s work processes have been thoroughly examined to ensure that this kind of electronic break-in cannot happen again. Fortunately, employees’ quick reaction means that HS Orka has reason to believe they will recover a “considerable part” of the stolen funds. When asked whether the recovered money can be considered more than half the amount stolen, Ásgeir simply replies: “presumably”.

“It was exceedingly well-organized. Very elaborate and through this experience we have come to realize that the threat of this kind of theft is much more common than one might previously have thought,” says Ásgeir.

“We have every reason to be wary and therefore as far as possible we must create work processes and systems that will prevent this kind of break-in and theft from reoccurring.”

According to a HS Orka press release, the theft will have no impact on HS Orka’s conditions of operation, daily operations, clients or suppliers.