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ERIC Number: EJ788930
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb-22
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
In Russia, Corruption Plagues the Higher-Education System
Nemtsova, Anna
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n24 pA18 Feb 2008
From the top down, says the writer, Russia's universities are impoverished by bribery and insider deals large and small. A new president's dorm at Nizhniy Novgorod is one example of what anti-corruption watchdogs say is widespread mismanagement, and in some cases outright corruption, throughout the country's higher-education system. Presidents use their positions to create fiefdoms on campus, doling out perks to themselves and their allies. Admissions officials demand bribes to enroll otherwise-qualified students, and professors expect money from students in exchange for passing grades. The black-market pipeline of money and perks thrives even as the system itself is eroding. Professors are underpaid, textbooks are of poor quality, and buildings are in dire need of repair. A recent poll found that 66 percent of Russians consider the higher-education system to be corrupt: families can spend 30 to 40 percent of their incomes on bribes for what is supposed to be a free education. One survey estimates that corruption in higher education is costing the system one billion dollars per year. Indifference to physical upkeep and safety is mirrored in lack of attention to academic issues, which has, say some professors, degraded the scientific and learning process degrade while university presidents and their deputies invest energy and effort on personal commercial projects. At some institutions, dissertation councils have been closed, forcing students to go to other universities to defend their dissertations. Problems of bribery and graft in Russia are not unique to higher education. The country has been labeled by some as one of "legal nihilism". The chairman of one nongovernmental anti-corruption group states, "By accepting corruption and making it a norm of everyday life, universities produce generation after generation of corrupt professionals," setting a pattern for years to come.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Russia