Education is a crucial element in any attempt to effectively address the phenomenon of corruption. Through increased knowledge of the risks of corruption and its effects, it is possible to foster attitudes that do not tolerate corruption and develop skills that allow for individuals to resist social and cultural pressures when faced with corrupt practices. UNODC works with universities, schools and professional training institutions to promote the teaching of anti-corruption and integrity at all stages of the education process.

UNODC is leading the Anti-Corruption Academic Initiative (ACAD), a collaborative project seeking to encourage the teaching and research of anti-corruption issues by higher level education institutions. ACAD acts as a central hub for anti-corruption education worldwide. It brings together professors globally and regionally, fosters networking and offers over 1,800 free online resources. These include, in a number of languages, academic articles, papers and publications covering an extensive range of anti-corruption themes and issues. ACAD has also developed a three-credit multidisciplinary model university course on the United Nations Convention against Corruption in all official UN languages, which can be taught as part of, or a complement to, a degree in law, business or social sciences.

UNODC is also commencing the development and implementation of an innovative and comprehensive educational initiative: "Education for Justice" (E4J), which supports the integration of crime prevention and other rule of law aspects into all levels of education, thus contributing to community participation in crime prevention and promoting a culture of lawfulness. The E4J initiative will support schools, universities and other academic institutions in their efforts to teach students across the world about the rule of law, including anti-corruption. This will be done by engaging with young people in a truly consultative and participatory process while building on and investing in them as agents of positive change.