Resources from the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk

Sofia Wickberg. 2013. Literature Review on Corruption in Higher Education. Available on request to:  

Corruption in higher education is a universal problem that takes various forms across regions, countries and institutions. Corruption in this sector can be found both at the systemic (fraud, undue influence, false accreditations and so on) and individual (academic misbehaviour, plagiarism, cheating and so on) levels. Corruption in higher education has significant social and economic consequences because of the crucial role that universities play in societies, both as a neutral point of reference and as a “future-leader maker”. Corruption undermines the integrity and the quality of academic research and diverts higher education from its fundamental goals. This paper provides a non-exhaustive list of relevant readings on the various corruption challenges in higher education.  

Marie Chêne. 2012. Fighting Corruption in Education in Fragile States.  

Fighting corruption in education has the potential to mitigate some of the root causes of fragility and restore citizens’ trust in the government’s capacity to deliver public services. Corruption can occur at all stages of the education service delivery chain, from school planning and management, to student admissions and examinations as well as to teacher management and professional conduct. These risks can be exacerbated in fragile settings, which are often characterised by weak governance structures, limited infrastructures, inadequate political leadership and reduced human, organisational and institutional capacity of government. There is still relatively little evidence of what comprises good practice on how to fight corruption in fragile states, including as it relates to the education sector. Recommendations typically include the establishment of transparent regulations and procedures, reforms of the procurement and public finance management (PFM) system, transparent teacher management systems, the introduction of codes of conduct for educational staff, robust information systems in the area of teacher registration and management, examination and access to university. Social accountability initiatives also have potential and may be the most viable option in some challenging environments.

Marie Chêne. 2009. Gender, Corruption and Education.

There are few governance indicators that systematically capture the gender dimension of corruption in education. However, there is a growing consensus that corruption undermines the quality and quantity of public services, and reduces the resources available for the poor and women, ultimately exacerbating social and gender disparities. Corruption hits disadvantaged groups – including women – harder, as they rely more on state infrastructure, have fewer resources to make informal payments to access education services and less recourse to legal protection. Women are also more vulnerable to specific forms of corruption, such as sexual extortion in exchange for schooling, good grades and other school privileges. There is no empirical evidence available on the long-term impact of corruption on gender disparities in the education sector. However, there is a general consensus that such practices have long-term consequences on women’s education outcomes, psychological and physical health as well as gender equity, ultimately affecting long-term social and economic progress.


Iñaki Albisu Ardigó; Marie Chêne


Matthew Jenkins

Contributing experts:

Umrbek Allakulov (Water Integrity Network)

Shaazka Beyerle (US Institute of Peace)

Simone Bloem (Center for Applied Policy)

Claire Grandadam (Water Integrity Network)

Jacques Hallak (Jules Verne University – Amiens)

Mihaylo Milovanovitch (Centre For Applied Policy)

Muriel Poisson (International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO)

Juanita Riano (Inter-American Development Bank)

Marc Y. Tassé (Canadian Centre of Excellence for Anti-Corruption)

Vítězslav Titl (University of Siegen)

Davide Torsello (Central European University Business School)

Patty Zakaria (Royal Roads University)



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