Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A Saudi university ‘paid $2m bribe to boost ranking’

KSA has been striving hard to raise the standard of education by upgrading educational systems and through facilitation of educational institution. Despite of all efforts made by ministry of education, some institutions are playing the role of black sheep by impairing the fairness and transparency of educational standards. Some universities have taken affiliations of international universities in order to provide international standard education to their students. The ranking and grading of these universities have to be set by foreign universities. Recently a case of bribery has been reported where a Saudi university paid up to $2 million to an Australian university in order to raise its ranking and improve its grading among the list of foreign universities.

The university management has allegedly found to commit the fraud for boosting the ranking of university. Anti-corruption organization of KSA Nazaha has spotted the bribery crime of the well-known university.  Nazaha (anti-corruption cell) of Ministry of education has demanded report for the excessive expenses incurred by the university. Nzaha considers that university has paid this money as bribe to foreign university. Proper investigations have been started by the Nazaha and it has collected initial evidences which clearly point out that bribery crime has been committed by the university management. This is not the first time corruption activity spotted at the end of the well-known alleged university of KSA. Nazaha has already found it to be involved in many inappropriate activities which have supported corruption and ambiguity in educational processes. The university management has also been reluctant in co-operating with investigation activities conducted by anti-corruption cell. 

Saudi universities as a whole have improved their ranking due to dedication and adoption of modern principles of education. Nine Saudi universities have been ranked in the list of UK’s QS World University for the year 2014-2015. The list of these internationally ranked universities include King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals leading among at the top of the list, King Saud University at the third rank among all Arab university and King Abdul-Aziz University as fifth top internationally ranked university among all universities of Middle East. 

Ministry of education has been striving hard to improve its educational standards and practices in order to boost ranking of Saudi universities on national and international forums. In this scenario, few black sheep are trying to steal the merit with corruption. Ministry of education has started a new program named “Tawasul” which supports beneficiaries of educational program and record all education related complaints.

By the end of 2015 on the platform of “Tawasul” ministry of education has received 30,000 applications and requests related to “My result” program. The students have expressed their concerns and comments along with the queries related to dissatisfactory results. The educational unit has also received thousands of application for educational scholarship programs named “Safeer”. Ministry has been striving hard to improve communication and has improved its services to students. Meanwhile there is a need to spot black sheep which are trying to contaminate fair educational processes as well. 

Source: Arab News

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