“We have put our efforts into creating something new with our partners. These training modules will help all of us achieve certain values in higher education, among others, one of the most important values: moral integrity”.
With these words by Dr Bojan Tubić, Assistant Minister for Higher Education, the presentation of the academic integrity courses developed under the project Strengthen Integrity and Combat Corruption in Higher Education was formally opened.
The Academic Integrity courses which focus on integrity, ethics, transparency and fight against corruption are the result of a comprehensive development process with a European perspective and experiences as guiding principles. At the same time, it strongly took into account the local needs and the context. Thus, we have based our training materials on research that was designed and carried out with the key stakeholders in the higher education sector in Serbia involving 729 professors and 1731 students. The courses are divided into two modules, called Integrity I and II and they truly represent the state of affairs in almost all university centres in Serbia. The topics - the major ones universities are dealing with - range from the principles of academic writing to plagiarism and corruption. The courses address the requirements as set out in the EU negotiating Chapter 23.
Immediately after the presentation, several universities expressed their interest in using the courses - concrete proof that academic integrity indeed is a value recognised by many. The interest in the courses is also an indication of the the widespread dedication of the higher education community to successfully address these issues and support an awareness raising process as well as the changes of perception.