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Ethics In High Education

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Autor:   •  January 3, 2012  •  1,649 Words (7 Pages)  •  460 Views

Page 1 of 7

Table of Contents

Abstract 2

Ethics and ethics in high education 3

The ethics of two universities 4

Development and implementation of ethical policy 4

An ethical policy for Faculty of Economics 5

Conclusion 7

Reference 8


Why has ethics become so important issue not only in individuals life but also in business and all other subjects and institutions that surround us? Why does any institution need an ethical policy? What are the consequences of not having an ethical policy? How can an institution develop and implement an ethical policy framework? And why does a high education institution need an ethical policy? These are all questions that I will try to answer trough this paper and trough research of ethical policies of two Universities - University of Zagreb (with reference to Faculty of Economics) and Leeds Metropolitan University. Since the universities have different historical background and have developed in different cultural and political circumstances, it will be interesting whether due to those facts different ethics apply.

At the end of this paper I will write my own suggestion of how should an ethical policy of Faculty of Economics look like.

Ethics and ethics in high education

The Oxford dictionary defines ethics as "the moral principles governing or influencing conduct" and "the branch of knowledge concerned with moral principles" .

Ethics is in all dimensions of institution's operations and it applies to the conduct of individuals and also to whole organisation. We could say that ethics is about how an institution behave. Some institution publish an institution-wide ethical policy framework because it can provide and encourage consistency of behaviour, it can demonstrate commitment of institution to ethics and it also can explain institution ethical stance to shareholders and show guidance in behaviour. But only publishing is not nearly enough as we will see by the end of this paper.

In conducting this small research I couldn't find any difference in business subjects on the market and high education institution regarding need of ethical policy, there might be only different ethical issues involved. In my opinion high education institution should be leaders in ethical behaviour and should set an example to other business subjects on the market on how to develop, implement and use ethical policies.

If looking at the high education institutions only, a lot of operations have ethical dimensions - teaching, research, relationships, admissions, copyright etc. There are two of the principles aims of higher education:

 "To increase knowledge and understanding for their own sake and to foster their application to the benefit of the economy and society" and

 " To play a major role in shaping a democratic, civilised, inclusive society."

High ethical standards are seen in aims and values of most high education institutions, but that doesn't meat there is no need for an ethical policy. Ethical issues arise in range of situations such are:

 Treatment of employees, students or other stakeholders

 Conflict interests in funding sources, donations, accepting gifts

 Admission procedures

 Upholding academic freedom

 Plagiarism

 Etc.

Some of the institutions have not published their ethical policy, code or statement, some of them have range of documents addressing different ethical issues and some of them have ethical policy that are not published publicly but it exists internally in the institution. These are all circumstances that made this research more difficult. Some argue that publishing an ethical policy is unnecessary and that the ethical policy will not change the behaviour or ensure ethical behaviour. I couldn't agree less but I agree that only publishing of it won't ensure ethical behaviour - it has to be implemented, trained and monitored and that will ensure the effectiveness.

The ethics of two universities

While searching for any kind of ethical policy or documents containing ethical issues on the website of University of Zagreb and on the website of Faculty of Economics, I surprisingly didn't find much information. I did check the Statute of the Faculty of Economics but the result was only set of rules and not ethical policies.

Searching the Leeds Metropolitan University website gave more results but still not as much as I would expect. There is no published ethical policy as a document on the website. Maybe it exists as a part of staff handbook or part of several different documents. Looking trough Leeds Metropolitan University Corporate Plan I ran across aims and values of LMU, and in my opinion, alongside mission and values should be at least one sentence that refer to ethical behavior and existence of the ethical policy. But on LMU website I found ethical weekly columns where are weekly posted concerns about different ethical issues that arise. Seeing that, I conclude that LMU probably has an ethical policy that is not published on their website due to the fact that LMU staff are encouraged to speak up about ethical problems as they arise trough website. This is a valuable channel to train and educate shareholders about ethics, and dealing with ethical dilemmas. Since it is published weekly, it shows that LMU is concerned and pays attention to ethics, that ethics is already a part of stakeholders behavior and that institution often revises and measures effectiveness of their policies.

University of Zagreb and Faculty of Economic should develop and implement an ethical policy.

Development and implementation of ethical policy



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