Corruption in Higher Education Myth, Illusions, or Reality in a Christian University? Rev. Canon Alfred Sebahene, Director of Extension Education 30th April 2014
PRESENTATION CONTENT AND FORMAT • Why This Presentation And Why Now? • The need for urgent attention • Emerging Research on Corruption In Higher education • What Is Corruption? Conceptual Clarification • Causes of Corruption in Higher Education • Christian University and Biblical Teaching on Corruption • Corruption in Academia: Nature, Typology and Manifestation • Corruption And Its Corrosive Effects In Higher Education: A Relationship Concern • Conclusion
WHY THIS PRESENTATION AND WHY NOW? Corruption is now being recognized as one of the hardest obstacles to higher education development in Africa (Transparency International Report 2013) 2. A fairly known, a serious and yet a neglected problem in the education sector! 3. Several international conventions on corruption have raised interest in this phenomenon and how it has impacted upon higher education (UNESCO 2010 and UNCAC 2013)
WHY THIS PRESENTATION AND WHY NOW? (contd.) 4. Increased research has also illustrated that corruption can and is operating at different levels in most universities across the world (Poisson, 2010) 5. The Directorate of Extension Education is well placed and has role to play in raising awareness on this worldwide problem! 6. Presenter’s area of interest: PhD work, public theology, ethics and integrity, good governance, justice, human rights and humandignity!
THE NEED FOR URGENT ATTENTION • University education in Africa is regarded as key to a better future! • 2. Private higher education is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing segments of the 21st century (Altbach, 1999)…given the large scale of expansion of Tanzanian private higher education, today, there are more students enrolled at public university than in public(TCU 2010) • 3. SJUT is part of the bigger picture: private higher education in Tanzania- providing crucial service to the nation as the country struggles to increase access to higher education.
THE NEED FOR AN URGENT ATTENTION TO THE PROBLEM (contd.) 4. Education is one of the most powerful and effective instrument or variable of socialization, and human development etc. (religion and family) 5. According to UNESCO, enrolment in higher education has been growing faster in Sub-Saharan Africa than in any other region of the world!
THE NEED FOR URGENT ATTENTION (contd.) 6. Tanzania’s “Development Vision 2025” envisages “a well-educated and learning society.” (URT, Development vision 2012) 7. Tanzanians acknowledge the important role the higher education sector can play in enhancing socio-economic development in Africa; the potential it has to provide the tools that people need to improve livelihoods and live with dignity. 8. Global recognition of a degree as a benchmark for employment, future training and good career prospects.
EMERGING RESEARCH ACROSS AFRICA • Higher Education is already struggling! Allowing corruption to grow is disastrous • very low student enrolment; • gender imbalance; • poor financing or severe crisis of funding, general resource incapacity! • unregulated, uncontrolled proliferation of tertiary training institutions;
a tendency to distort the real worth of academic programs. • inadequate infrastructure/insufficient educational facilities, • high student –lecturer ratio • inadequately trained academic and managerial staff (See for example TCU 2010)
What people say; • “has critically hobbled and skewed Africa's development [and higher education]," Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan • “afflicts higher education and erodes its benefits” (Huguette Labelle, Transparency International Chair) • “in all its different shades is a violation of human rights and should be resisted at all costs (Poisson 2010).
Names attributed to corruption “the vice”, “a psychosocial beast”, “a disease”, “a tragedy”, “cancer”, “chronic disease”, “the most shameful”, “sin”, “a sin that eats from within”, “a problem”, “a culture”, “a skin deep problem”
Common Words Used when Dealing with Corruption “fighting”, “eradicate”, “curtailing”, “war against”, “form and use anti-corruption squad”, “name and shame”, “wipe out”, “crackdown”,
WHAT IS CORRUPTION? CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION Corruption is a complex reality that may not adequately lend itself to a simple definition. (IMF 1997)
Common understanding: • “impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) • “a failure of moral regard for the public interest” (Tanzi) • “a socially undesirable deviation (or decay) from some ideal, norm or standard” (Banfield) • “departure from accepted societal norms” (Windsor)
SJUT as Christian University Biblical Explanation about the Problem: Corruption is sin! It is about moral depravity (Gen 6:11; Ex 32:7; Hosea 9:9; Gal 6:8, etc.), which ends in utter moral ruin and hopelessness. International Community definition: “the abuse of public office for private gain” or “the misuse of one’s office position for personal benefit” (UN, World Bank, Transparent International, EU, International Development Agencies)
CAUSES OF CORRUPTION IN HIGHER EDUCATION Greed and selfishness, abuse of power, lack of exemplary ethical leadership, some social cultural norms - nepotism and favoritism, low public awareness, political/educational interference, moral decay, lack of ethics, system deficiencies (systems, procedures, guidelines), lack of rule of law, poor condition of services, poor remuneration?
CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY AND THE BIBLICAL TEACHING ON CORRUPTION No question about the Bible’s opposition to bribery (corruption) as an affront to the character of God, the incorruptible one (Deut 10:17). Hence a bribe is an “evil device” (Psalm 26:10; see also Micah 7:3). Corruption/Bribe is a “gain of oppressions” (Isaiah 33:15), an “unjust gain” (Proverbs 15:27). Even a small bribe (a piece of bread, a handful of barley) has serious consequences (Prov. 28:21; Ezekiel 13:19). A bribe corrupts the mind (Eccles 7:7) and blinds the eyes of officials (Ex 23:8). The Bible is particularly concerned about the perversion of the course of justice through bribery (Deut 16:18-19, 27:25; 1 Sam 8:1-3; 2 Chr. 19:7; Prov. 17:23; Isaiah 5:23; Amos 5:12). Ezekiel 22:12 includes bribery in a list of the symptoms of serious societal break-down! Proverbs 29:4 says that when national leaders are implicated in bribery the outcome is national ruin.
CORRUPTION IN ACADEMIANATURE, TYPOLOGY AND MANIFESTATION illicit payments for admission of students to pre-university and degree programmes Students paying bribes to obtain on-campus accommodation and for pas marks/grading Sex for marks is on the rise – “female students /male instructors”; “male students/female instructors” (research - Nigeria and Ghana) tribalism and nepotism in recruitment to tenured positions (Niger, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Liberia, Sierra Leone) political and corporate undue influence in research plagiarism
ghost authorship of academic papers “rules for academic promotion may be clear, but there is a divide between the rules and practices of advancement in academia” – “Promotion regardless of merit” (Dr Shola Omotola, Redeemer’s University) East African universities - lecturers pay emerging online journals to publish papers that have not been peer reviewed. Quite often, names of academics who did not do any work are added, provided that they contribute towards payment. There are also cases academics contract pseudo researchers to write papers and have them published on their behalf. In extreme cases, candidates for promotion to senior positions present, as their own, “plagiarised research from reputable journals”. (Wachira Kigotho, 2013) Fake degrees, fake institutions! Illegal degree mills taking advantage of growing demand for higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Just buy fake credentials from degree mills by doing little or no work to obtain a qualification or do limited coursework and get a degrees (Niger, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Liberia, Sierra Leone)). “We find dissertations useless because of serious academic and professional deficiencies,” (Professor John Opuda Asibo, Uganda National Council of Higher Education!)
CORRUPTION AND ITS CORROSIVE EFFECTS ON HIGHER EDUCATION : A RELATIONSHIP CONCERN
There is a relationship between corruption and; Lack of infrastructural development, modernization and rehabilitation of higher education institutions. Lack of concern for student services. The poor state of academic standards. The increasing lack of professionalism and ethical standards by administrators/tutorial assistants/lecturers/professors The mushrooming of private educational institutions in most African countries. The prevailing culture of corruption, exploitation and amorality in the educational sector and the culture of corruption, exploitation and amorality in the sociopolitical system.
Use of outmoded technology in teaching and learning Majority of these institutions still operate from rented premises in urban and semi-urban areas, unable to undertake large-scale construction of new educational facilities because of their limited financial resources! Even when funds are available for construction, corruption leads to uncompleted projects or completed “shoddy” structures! Tanzania private universities heavily depend on tuition fees and donations from benefactors as the major sources of income (TCU 2008) Major focus is teaching, rather than independent research and consultancy. Enrolment expansion without the concomitant expansion of educational facilities negatively impacts on the quality of education. Although “sustainability” challenges universities in Tanzania to rethink their missions and to restructure their courses, research programs, and life on campus, and that both staff and graduates are increasingly exposed to notions of sustainability, which are emotionally, politically, ethically, and scientifically charged,
CONCLUSIONCorruption in a Christian University: Myth? Illusions or reality?What lessons for SJUT? QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CURRENT SITUATION IN AFRICA - Best Country and Worst Country CURRENT SITUATION IN EAST AFRICA- Best Country Worst Country