Corruption in higher education: does it differ across the nations and why?
Corruption in higher education is a newly emerging topic in the field of education research. Some aspects of corruption in education have been addressed in recent works by Eckstein, Hallak & Poisson, Heyneman, Noah & Eckstein, Segal, and Washburn. However, rigorous systematic research is lacking. This article considers corruption in higher education as reported in the media, following publications in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Russian Federation. It addresses the differences in forms of corruption across the nations, identifying how exactly they differ and why. Major findings point to the following: some forms of corruption are region-specific while others are universal; types of corruption are connected to the characteristics of the national systems; the general trend in the media attention reflects growing concern about corruption in academia; in the United States more attention is now paid to fraud, plagiarism, and cheating, but in Russia to bribery in admissions. The findings help to determine which aspects of corruption in higher education should be given more consideration in future research and which might be prioritised, as well as how the national systems of higher education can be improved.