A Perception-based Investigation on Corruption in Higher Education: Evidence from the Republic of Moldova

Victoria Butmalai, Liu Qijun


The study sheds light on the phenomenon of corruption in the Republic of Moldova's Higher Education System. It provides tangible evidence that corruption in the university environment isn't a merely unfounded rumor but a sad reality, sometimes challenging to capture and even more difficult to change. The research, exploratory in its nature, has thoroughly examined and analyzed the perceptions of the main education actors directly involved in the academic processes in order to discover the extent and the different facets of educational corruption and provide recommendations for preventing and opposing the phenomenon.

To empirically understand the roots and dimensions of corruption in Moldova's higher education, the adopted methodology was based on two approaches: qualitative and quantitative.

The qualitative part of the study, representing as well the preparatory basis for the quantitative approach, was conducted in two stages combining individual interviews and focus groups with the participation of the main educational stakeholders, namely: professors, students, and administrative officials. The quantitative phase included a broad survey based on three questionnaires executed on a sample of 671 respondents. The sample was composed of professors, students, and administrative personnel. The survey results show that for the three categories of actors directly involved in university life, corruption is a common phenomenon, seriously harming the image of the Moldovan universities and endangering the processes of human capital formation. The causes of corruption find their roots in the ineffective human and procedural management within the Higher Education system, Moldovan culture, and various educational actors' behaviors.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v11i1.18280

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