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Pledging against bribes at Uzbek universities

Uzbek universitiesSeveral universities in the country have made their professors sign a pledge against taking bribes from their students.

Such initiatives are usually organized by the university management and often as a result of an arrest of a professor for taking bribes.

There have been cases of having university staff sign non-bribe pledges before.

A professor from an Uzbek university, wishing to remain anonymous, explained that before the start of each semester deans appeal to staff to not take bribes from students. Often times they are then asked to sign pledges to that effect as well.

In reality this procedure is nothing but a farce.

Is one to assume that the professors are more concerned for their university bosses than the country’s criminal code?

At the moment exams are taking place all over Uzbekistan and this is precisely the time when some people give bribes and others take them.

Students are often happy to “buy” a good grade. In other words accusing only the professors is not exactly fair.

Frequently students willingly pay bribes in the hope of obtaining good grades.

Saodat Jergashevna, a retired professor, says that arrests of professors who take bribes are, if not entirely common place, then not all that unusual.

Yet not a single arrest of a student for bribery has ever been made. Jergashevna believes that if bribe-givers could also be arrested that might not only help improve the situation but also the quality of education.

Bribery has greatly degraded the educational system in Uzbekistan and is commonplace not just at universities but also in colleges and even schools.

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