The region of Western Balkans including Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia for a confined period of time have been dealing with the issue of corruption. A number of initiatives have been implemented in the last decade yet without a more focused approach to the specific sector of higher education (HE). Additionally, in the latest 2022 EU progress reports, all three countries have been criticized for the existing mechanisms for reporting and prevention of corruption. The conclusion for all three countries in the segment of Chapter 23 has stated that some level of preparation/ is moderately prepared in implementing the EU acquis and European standards in the area of the judiciary and fundamental rights. According to the Report, Albania has achieved good progress in the last year; North Macedonia – some progress and Serbia – limited progress.
Having this in mind, in the period from 2023-2024 the Institute for Strategic Research and Education – ISIE (Skopje) in cooperation with Institute for Development Research and Alternatives – IDRA (Tirana) and Centre for Free Elections and Democracy – CESID (Belgrade) is implementing the SMART Balkans regional project “Corruption Free Universities in Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia”. The project is aimed at strengthening capacities of universities, student organizations and students for corruption prevention at the universities in the targeted three countries.
In the mission of promoting the rule of law, providing effective administration of justice and preventing corruption among students and university employees in the higher education of these three countries, the Study on corruption has been created.
Conducted for the first time, this Study/Joint Report on corruption perceptions represents the key outcome from the survey that has been realized in over 10 cities using the face-to-face technique in May 2023, on a sample of a total of 934 students in the three countries. The Publication presents the key findings from the survey and will serve as a key tool for implementation of the next phases of the project, as well as for policy improvement.
In Chapter 1 the main characteristic on the system for corruption prevention of Albania and the results of the survey have been presented. Chapter 2 explores the situation in N. Macedonia again through the review of the legislation and the presentation of survey results. Situation in Serbia and survey results are presented in Chapter 3 of the publication. All national reports include conclusions and recommendations.
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