Academic Dishonesty or Corrupt Values: the Case of Russia

Academic corruption in Russia is extensively spread; it is not an isolated phenomenon. Rather, academic corruption is tightly embedded into the general corruption in society: in politics, business, and in everyday life. This contribution illustrates some common types of cheating and corruption as well as the motives of the involved actors for applying, accepting, ignoring and/or pretending to ignore these activities.

Why is corruption in higher education so prevalent? The improper dependences of all the involved actors might it possible. Compared to people without a university education, graduates have better chances on the job market. Some university lecturers might expect bribes in order to return the investments they have made into their own studies. Other university lecturers might water down their requirements and try to be more tolerant, especially to students who are looking for a formal certificate rather than for an education, or who might need to have more time for other activities. If university administrators would receive the same budget from the state, the reduction of staff and lecturers would be not necessary.

Why are studies on corruption in education so important? Younger generations are expected to make changes rather than continuing the old systems. During their studies, young people complete their socialization by acquiring, among other things, more techniques of corrupt behaviour and a tolerance for corruption. In Russia more than 80% of all young people go on to university and almost all of them finish it. Over the next decades, the spread of corruption in the country might be forecast. This might be very destructive, both on the short-term and the long-term perspectives. The consequences for academia, business and society might be dire.

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