Well, it's definitely neat looking, but strange.
I suppose you might create something like this using hairpin lace, but the center stitches don't look like the hairpin lace I've done. Still it might be fairly close. I'll have to give it a shot and see what I come up with.
Meanwhile, any idea where your student found this?
Edit: Yes, you can do this using hairpin lace, but weaving the loops together is likely to make you verifiably insane (plus, my "center" stitches--ones between the loops) don't look like what's in the picture).