Public forums and debates with students and university staff were organised in cooperation with the state universities of Niš and Belgrade on 7-8 March 2018. More than 80 participants joined Professor Dennis Farrington, who provoked stimulating discussions on the various aspects of academic ethics with a special focus on plagiarism.
The aim of the events was to offer an opportunity to both students and academic staff to learn about ethical standards, discuss burning issues affecting higher education systems in Serbia and many other countries, explore and develop a better understanding of the existing and possible practices and legislative and policy solutions in that respect.
Professor Farrington opened both forums with a short presentation about key issues for ethical standards and academic integrity. He outlined experiences from Europe and beyond, drew attention to good and bad practices and talked about his personal experiences, particularly on instances of plagiarism. The participants expressed their own views and also discussed risks and strategies related to the successful fight against corruptive behaviour in higher education.
The events were the first in a series to be organised in partnership with major Serbian public and private universities, the result of which should be an increased awareness of detrimental consequences of corruption and unethical behaviour in higher education.
These activities were hosted by the largest and oldest public university in Serbia, the University of Belgrade, in partnership with the most important public university in the south-east of Serbia, the University of Niš. Participants in Belgrade were greeted by the vice-rector for international and inter-university cooperation, Professor Ivanka Popović, while professor Nenad D Pavlović, the vice-rector for science, joined the students and his colleagues in Niš.
The two forums were organised as part of the Action "Strengthen Integrity and Combat Corruption in Higher Education in Serbia", which is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe within the Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey programme and implemented by the Council of Europe.