UNODC Promotes Policy Debate on Anti-Corruption in Higher Education in Uzbekistan

Corruption remains an acute problem at the global level. Estimates place the annual volume of bribes at one trillion USD, with the global economy possibly losing another 2.6 trillion USD due to corruption.

Forms of corruption in higher education institutions vary. Corrupt behavior includes both bribery and plagiarism of written works when seeking to obtain a higher grade, as well as fraud with the budget of the university and falsification of academic degrees.

In order to create a platform to exchange best practices in the fight against corruption in higher education and discuss practical solutions to ensure academic integrity and business ethics, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) joined a practical conference called «Higher Education – a Sphere without Corruption», held jointly by UNESCO with the General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO) of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, the Youth Union of Uzbekistan, as well as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan.

The event, which took place on 27 February, brought together nearly 100 representatives of line ministries and agencies, higher education institutions of Tashkent and Ferghana region, and research institutions. “It is extremely important to improve legal culture, especially among young people and educators, and promote their involvement in ongoing anti-corruption reforms.” – said Mr. Koen Marquering, UNODC International Program Coordinator.

Currently, Uzbekistan is participating in the second cycle of the mechanism for reviewing the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which among others focuses on preventive measures.

“UNODC, jointly with its partners, is ready to provide all possible assistance to Uzbekistan in the full and effective implementation of the UNCAC. This applies not only to the fight against corruption in general, but also to the education of children and students on ethics, human rights and the rule of law. Last year, 50 schools and more than 4,000 students were covered by programs in this area. We are committed to continuing our cooperation in this area in the future. Let's unite against corruption. Let's work together in the fight against corruption.”- highlighted Mr. Koen Marquering.

At the invitation of UNODC, Dr. Patrik Olsson, Senior Lecturer at the Lund University, Sweden, delivered a presentation focusing on Swedish practice with anti-corruption compliance systems in academic settings.

UNODC supported the event with funding provided by the Government of Sweden for the promotion of anti-corruption activities in Uzbekistan.

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