Trilateral Spring School on Corruption Prevention in Higher Education in Ohrid

The Institute for Strategic Research and Education (ISIE) in cooperation with the Institute for Development, Research and Alternatives (IDRA) – Tirana and Centre for Free Elections and Democracy (CESID) – Belgrade have organized the Trilateral Spring School on Corruption Prevention in Higher Education in the period from 15-18 May 2024 in Ohrid, North Macedonia.

The Trilateral School was organized within the Corruption Free Universities in Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia Project. Thirty two student leaders and activists as well as 7 experts from the targeted countries have attended the program. The participants included representatives of University and Faculty assemblies, students ombudsman and civil society activists.

During the opening ceremony of the School, the project manager Mišo Dokmanović has emphasized the importance of the regional cooperation in the fight against corruption as well as the utilization of new digital tools developed through the project which are available to the students.

The School has provided the students with the opportunity to obtain theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to prevent corruption at their universities. The team of lectures combined the university professor from the University of Belgrade Miloš Hrnjaz, civil society anticorruption expert Rozarta Dodaj and representative of Corruption Prevention Commission, Irena Popovska as well as the project team. The skills of the 30 student participants were developed through theoretical overview of anti-corruption mechanisms at their disposal, but also included several case studies, practical exercises and group work. Special attention in the Program was dedicated to the utilisation of main outputs obtained through the project including the Corruption Perception Report and Policy Brief as well as the Guide for Reporting Corruption, which are available in all national languages. Apart from that, a special session on the use of the digital chatbot for corruption reporting was delivered during the training.

In order to ensure sustainability and the dissemination of project results, the project has foreseen a special segment on follow-up activities of the participants in their respective environments. A special session was delivered to boost their interest and innovative approach for reaching out to their colleagues after the completion of the program. The Institute for Strategic Research and Education (ISIE) expect over 300 participants of the follow-up activities across the region scheduled in the period from June – July 2024. Each participant will conduct a small dissemination activity – presentation on the lessons learned, training for student organization, session on how to use the chatbot or the Guide, distribution of leaflets with information.

According to the conducted evaluation of the Spring School, 92% of the participants have indicated that they have excellent impression of the Program. Besides that, 72% of the participants consider the topics covered “highly relevant” for their work and 28% – relevant.

These are some of the impressions of the participants:

“Amazing organization, the lecturers were great and overall very interesting because the interaction between the participants was on high level”.

“As a first time in this type of activities I am very happy that I have been part of it, it helped me learn a lot of new things and I am looking forward on going on similar other activities as well”.

“Everything was cool. I think these session will increase more the capacity of students and not only regarding to field of anticorruption. ”

“It was a very nice experience. Meeting new people and learning something new of meaning and all related with corruption.”

“Corruption Free Universities in Albania, N. Macedonia and Serbia” Project is supported by the SMART Balkans Regional grant.