USAID ORGANIZES FORUM ON INTEGRITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Yerevan, Armenia - On 6 April, the USAID Mobilizing Action Against Corruption Activity (MAAC), in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia and the OSCE, organized the anti-corruption forum Toward Greater Integrity in Higher Education. The forum was held at Yerevan’s Marriott Hotel, and it brought together over 150 representatives from state agencies, universities, civil society, trade associations, international organizations, and the media.
“A corruption-free education sector is important, not just for Armenia’s future, but also for Armenia’s cultural heritage. Corruption in education directly affects the quality of classroom instruction, the efficient use of resources, and the value of a degree or a diploma. If the quality of education is low, if efficiency in the sector is weak, and if resources are squandered due to corruption, there is great risk that the developmental potential of the entire country can be undermined,” USAID Mission Director Jatinder Cheema said at the event. “For USAID, helping to eliminate corruption in education is of vital importance, because a corruption-free education sector is the foundation for Armenia’s sustainable development.”
The forum comprised of two conference sessions. The morning session featured presentations by Armenian speakers on steps taken by local institutions and non-governmental organizations to address corruption in higher education. The afternoon session featured presentations by guest speakers on specific lessons learned and success stories taken to improve educational integrity outside of Armenia, as well as steps taken globally to tackle corruption.
The presenters discussed how corruption tarnishes the standards in higher education, and they shared international best practices and lessons learned in combating corruption.
On 30 December 2010, the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia adopted its Comprehensive Program of Activities for 2011-2012 to Fight Corruption in the Education System. These activities aim to increase transparency and accountability in higher education and improve access to education. MAAC’s public forum on corruption in higher education supports the implementation of the Program and related activities.