Academic corruption and reform in Russia and Ukraine

Author(s) : Klein, Eduard

Imprint : 2012

Collation : 18 p.

Notes : In: Leonid Kosals, Heiko Pleines (eds.): Governance Failure and Reform Attempts after the Global Economic Crisis of 2008/09. Case Studies from Central and Eastern Europe ibidem-Verlag, Stuttgart 2012 (Chapter 9), pp. 174-190

After the collapse of communism a problematic development took place in nearly
all former Soviet states. As a consequence of social uncertainties as well as weak and
unstructured formal institutional settings that existed, during the transition period of
the 1990s, informal phenomenon such as corruption and ‘blat’-relationships expanded.
However, during the last decade the post-soviet states were able to reach a certain
level of political and economical consolidation—while in Ukraine we observe a situation,
which can be described best as ‘democratization without consolidation’, in the
case of Russia it is the other way round a ‘consolidation without democratization’—in
which corruption did not disappear but even grew.
Nowadays the education sector is deemed to be one of the most corrupted
spheres. Higher education—once the international figurehead of the Soviet Union—
has especially become utterly corrupted, not only in the two countries examined but
also in virtually every post-Soviet State.

This chapter focuses on the first form of educational corruption: namely corruption
during the admissions stage. According to estimates in 2010 between$520 million
(UNESCO) and $1.5 billion (Economic Department of the Russian Interior Ministry)
were spent on admissions to Russian Universities. For Ukraine we have no available
data on the spending on corruption during admissions, but we have data on its pervasiveness.
A survey carried out in 2007 by USAID found out that nearly half of the
respondents interacting with universities had been approached for bribes. 37.6 per
cent of the respondents who admitted that they had paid bribes explained that they
did so to gain admission.

  • Admission to school / university, Corruption, Bribery, Higher education
  • Russian Federation, Ukraine