Degrees of integrity: the threat of corruption in higher education

David W. Chapman, Samira Lindner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Corruption in higher education is the focus of growing international concern among governments, educators, students, and other stakeholders. Those working in higher education institutions now face a unique convergence of pressures that is creating a heightened threat to the integrity of the higher education enterprise worldwide. This paper draws on recent measures of the perceived magnitude of corruption, studies of respondents' direct experience with corruption, and case studies of specific instances of corruption to illustrate the nature and extent of corruption in higher education. The authors suggest that the impact of corrupt practices in higher education can have a wider negative influence to the extent that it breaks the link between personal effort and anticipation of reward. The risk is that employees and students come to believe that personal success comes, not through merit and hard work, but through cutting corners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-268
Number of pages22
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • academic misconduct
  • organizational behaviour
  • organizational culture
  • plagiarism
  • professional work

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