The University of Auckland is investigating how someone was able to pose as a medical student for two years without being detected.

The person applied for entry into the university's medical programme in 2010 and was unsuccessful but continued to attend classes, deceiving classmates and teachers.

"Because of the size of the medical class, and by not submitting assessments or sitting tests, the individual was able to deceive classmates and teachers.

"Ultimately the presence of this person was detected when an assignment was submitted that did not match any name on the class list," said the dean of the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Professor John Fraser.


He said the person was not given any confidential or restricted training material, and has not, to the university's knowledge, ever been able to examine any patients or received confidential patient information.

The university is investigating how this has happened and is reviewing all its procedures.

Professor Fraser said they were taking the matter very seriously and that this was the first such incident in the 43-year history of the medical school.