WENR, February 2010: Russia & CIS
University Tackles Corruption Head On
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Kazan State University has taken serious measures to tackle corruption, an affliction that has long plagued the Russian system of higher education.
The university has instituted a range of measures, from daily videos denouncing corrupt practices, to security cameras placed in every hallway and classroom to catch bribe taking as it happens, to participation in classroom discussion about the problem.
“Our job is to change the attitude to corruption at our university, so all students and professors realize that corruption is damaging our system of education, that corruption should be punished,” Myakzyum Salakhov, Kazan State rector, told The Chronicle.
Across Russia, bribery and influence-peddling are rife in the tertiary sector. Critics cite a combination of factors: Poor salaries leading some professors to pocket bribes in order to make ends meet. Students and their families feel they must pay administrators to get into good universities, if only because everyone else seems to be doing it. And local government officials turn a blind eye, sometimes because they, too, are corrupt.
But while many Russians shrug their shoulders over this news—reports on corruption in higher education are hardly new—Kazan State decided to do something about it. The 200-year-old institution in southwestern Russia, which educated Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Lenin, among others, is considered among the best universities in Russia. It enrolls 14,000 full-time students, most of whom come from the nearby Volga River region of the country.
– The Chronicle of Higher Education
January 17, 2010
Pick Cotton or Face Expulsion
Uzbek students who refuse to work in cotton fields during the harvest season in Uzbekistan are being expelled from high schools and universities, according to the RFE/RL Uzbek Service.
Bobur Rashidov, a university teacher, told RFE/RL that an average of five to 10 students who do not attend or leave the compulsory work in the cotton fields are expelled from his university on an annual basis.
He said that of some 3,000 students at his university — which he asked not be named — about 1,000 do not participate in the obligatory cotton harvest, adding that some of the nonparticipating students are threatened with expulsion unless they pay $130-$600 to university officials.
December 6, 2009