Friday, December 27, 2013

Balkan Bribery

The journalist Dino Jahic reported in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on December 23, 2013 (no direkt link, as the Süddeutsche wants license fees for the "content" in their links) in an article entitled Bestechung auf dem Balkan: Skandalort Hochschule (Balkan Bribery: Scandalous Universities) on the ease with which one can obtain a university degree in Bosnia and Serbia.

For a price, anywhere between just 700 € and 5000 € depending on the school and the field of study, a degree can be obtained with a back-dated matriculation form at some schools, attaching money to a written examination can insure that it will be marked "passed." Unfortunately, none of the informants would go on the record with their experiences but would only consent to be interviewed anonymously.

A university degree is necessary for many jobs in the public sector, so there is much interest in obtaining a degree with as little effort as possible. Bizarrely, instead of the Balkan governments investigating the quality of their own degrees, persons with foreign degrees from suspicious universities such as the University of Oxford in England often have to wait for months for their degrees to be accepted as equivalents.

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