Ten Ways to Bring Anti-Corruption Discussions into the Classroom

banner_img2According to the UN Global Compact, “corruption is recognised to be one of the word’s greatest challenges.” In the private sector corruption impedes economic growth, distorts competition, and presents serious legal and reputational risks. It is also a challenge that students will be faced with in the workforce post–graduation, so it is important that they not only understand the topic, but are able to recognise it, and explore ways to prevent, diminish or remove, its negative effects. There are countless ways to bring this far-reaching topic into the classroom. Here are ten.

  1. Use online platforms: The internet is home to a growing number of websites that allow students to explore the topic in different ways. For example to http://www.ipaidabribe.com or http://www.publishwhatyoupay.org. Ask students to start a blog, or contribute to a class or school blog, focused on current corruption issues, policies and solutions.
  1. Conduct a survey: Ask students to conduct field research on a particular topic, such as young peoples’ perceptions of corruption, or HR directors experience with or perceptions on anti-corruption training. Students can then analyse and present the data collected.
  1. Use mini cases and dilemmas: Several sites provide short case studies and dilemmas that can be presented to students to discuss and debate. The PRME Anti-Corruption Toolkit has a series of mini cases throughout, as does Giving Voice to Values.
  1. Explore real cases: Involve students in exploring small cases of corruption that they have experienced in the workplace, either as group discussions or through individual reflection papers. Engage alumni as well to come back into the classroom to share their experiences.
  1. Research projects: Engage students in a variety of research projects to explore the topic in more detail. This could be designing a law or company policy regarding corruption and/or whistleblowing, or taking a look at current guidelines and principles on the subject, in particular in their country. The UN Global Compact Anti-Corruption Tools Inventory has a wide range of anti-corruption resources that can be used.
  1. Company specific: Explore as a class how different companies approach corruption and bribery specifically. What is the company policy? How does it work in practice? What would you as an employee do if you encountered an incident? Have students look at the companies they are hoping to work for post graduation and even look into having students visit the companies to see these policies in action first hand.
  1. Organise an event: This could be a debate where students explore questions such whistleblowing or what exactly constitutes a bribe. This could also be part of a larger event which brings together individuals and organisations working in the field of anti-corruption. The 9th of December is the International Anti-Corruption Day aimed at raising awareness of corruption and the how to combat and prevent it.
  1. Bring in Guest Speakers: Connect with individuals working on anti-corruption in local, national, and international businesses and invite them into the classroom to share lessons and present current or past cases they have handled and how they were approached.
  1. Dilemma Scenarios: Jointly produced by the UN Global Compact and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, thefightagainstcorruption.org, is a series of six interactive learning modules to further students’ understanding of corruption and the UN Convention against Corruption as it applies to the private sector. Each short interactive video lasts 5 minutes and provides real situations that employees are likely to find themselves in as well as questions along the way to help that employee make the right decisions.
  1. Look at your school’s polices: Take a look with students at how your school approaches the topic of corruption. What kinds of policies are in place? Is there training for employees? What could be done to strengthen the policies and raise awareness about this?

For more take a look at the PRME Anti-Corruption Toolkit which provides guidance for incorporating the topic of anti-corruption into the business school’s curriculum. Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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