At the 2nd World Conference on the Right to Education next week in Brussels, ERCAS will propose that the next Ministerial Communiqué of the Bologna Process in 2015 includes a clear reference to integrity as a principle. The Bologna Process are agreements between European countries which ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher education qualifications. Furthermore, the revised version of the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance, to be adopted by the 47 Bologna Process ministers in 2015, should include a standard linked to academic integrity (with substantive indicators) which could be added to all national and institutional quality assurance systems.
The recent global market for diplomas and academic rankings had the unintended consequence of stimulating misconduct, from data manipulation to plagiarism to sheer fraud. If incentives for integrity are difficult to create, at least some incentives for cheating must be obliterated through an acknowledgement of the problem in pan-European level policy initiatives.
In addition, we believe that an organisation such as the Council of Europe has some enforcement capabilities that can create momentum for peer pressure. A standard-setting text, such as a recommendation of the Council of Ministers or even a convention on this topic, would be very timely given the increase in the public’s lack of trust in higher education credentials.
We do not expect that a few new international rules will by themselves change much, but we aim to create institutional weapons for domestic entrepreneurs of integrity.
Read here the full background paper prepared by Prof. Dr. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi and team partner Ligia Deca.