University of Montenegro should focus on internal issues not on credibility of findings of CCE

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) was surprised by superficial and tendentious reaction from University of Montenegro (UoM) on the account of yesterday’s presentation regarding the research on corruption in education.

The research is part of the project “Only knowledge should get the title”, which the CCE is implementing in cooperation with ELIAMEP, with the support of EU Delegation to Montenegro, whereas the field work and expert part was done by the agency Ipsos Strategic Marketing from 9 to 18 December 2015, on the basis of three-stage random stratified sample of 1004 examinees from 17 Montenegrin cities.

CCE assesses that it is not appropriate for a higher-education institution to react to media interpretation of data regarding the abovementioned research, thus bringing themselves into unpleasant situation, since everything to which UoM pointed out was precisely explained in research. Namely, the research clearly divided perceptions from personal experiences, the relation of those with higher level of education towards corruption in education, as well as other related questions which UoM addressed without any grounds. Additionally, we believe that UoM should be equally concerned with the results in both categories because they undeniably represent important guidelines for further reforms of higher education in Montenegro.

In this manner, UoM demonstrated an unprofessional relation towards the CCE which continually supported each activity of UoM with the intention of suppressing corruption at UoM, same as the CCE always stood and will stand critically-oriented towards countless, still, unprocessed irregularities in the work of UOM and its faculty units.

CCE regrets that anticorruption activities of UoM were incidental. Still, during yesterday’s press conference, on one of the questions of journalists, there were two things that new management did and that were recognised and commended by CCE: 1) termination of contracts with professors for whom it was discovered that they had double working relations, and 2) creation of Analysis of current state of affairs and strategic affiliations for reorganisation and integration of UoM.

If the UoM management wishes to deal with corruption in its own yard in a committed and decisive manner, they can always find an ally in the CCE. However, this approach does not imply denial of the existence of corruption and questioning the credibility of findings that do not fit the illusion of a perfect image of state of affairs in higher education, artificially portrayed by the authorities. As a reminder, UoM management already made a mistake once when it questioned CCE’s findings. Also, the CCE was target of series of primitive attacks and withheld strong pressure when it indicated on problems at the UoM for the sake of the public interest, which was later recognised by the UoM management itself in its own Analysis.

Daliborka Uljarević, Executive Director