Combatting Corruption in Higher Education

09/08/2016 | Publications

The CHEA/CIQG and IIEP-UNESCO have issued an advisory statement on combatting corruption in higher education internationally. (View or download a copy of the statement in English or in French.

Titled Advisory Statement for Effective International Practice: Combatting Corruption and Enhancing Integrity, the publication is a call to action that highlights the problems posed by academic corruption in higher education and suggests ways that quality assurance bodies, government and higher education institutions around the world can combat corruption.

The term “academic corruption” as used in the advisory statement refers to any prescribed action in connection with, for example, admissions, examinations or degree awarding that attempts to gain unfair advantage, including cheating, plagiarism, falsification of research, degree mills and accreditation mills.

The advisory statement grew out of an expert meeting held 30-31 March, 2016, in Washington D.C., that addressed quality assurance, accreditation and the role they play in combatting academic corruption. The two-day meeting brought together representatives from accrediting and quality assurance bodies, colleges and universities and higher education associations in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

The advisory statement notes that although effective quality assurance is a central element in addressing academic corruption, it cannot do the job alone. Corruption affecting the integrity of universities’ academic operations occurs both upstream (at the government level) and downstream (at all levels in higher education institutions) from the work of quality assurance bodies. “Action on a broad front is needed to attack the problem,” the advisory statement concludes.