|On 1 December, 2004, at the press club of the Bulgarian Telegraphic Agency, the National Youth Organization for Social and Economic Development, Stara Zagora organized a final press conference on the project National Student Initiative "I Do Not Bribe!". The organizers presented the final report on the project activities implemented between January and November 2004 with the financial support of the US Agency for International Development and Coalition 2000. The press conference also launched a week-long campaign called National Week Without Corrutpion at the Universities.
According to the public opinion the corruption in the higher education system has the following negative effects:
• Deteriorates the quality of education;
• Deforms the job market;
• De-motivates the student community;
• Deprives of the right to “equal start”.
One of the basics ways for reforming and “cleaning” the system of corruption practices is focusing the public attention on the problem and exercising a strong pressure for internal reforms in the system of higher education.
The project National Students Initiative "I Do Not Bribe!" was implemented in three Bulgarian universities: Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski, Gabrovo Technical University and New Bulgarian University. Project activities including the conducing of three specialized on-line surveys on corruption topics which aimed at investigating the students’ opinions regarding the existence of corruption practices at the Bulgarian universities. The survey results were presented on round tables at the three target universities and discussed with students and professors.
The project also involved the creation of a specialized anticorruption portal: Anticorruption Education. Till the end of the project in December 2004 a brochure called Anticorruption Notebook will be published and distributed. It will give practical advices to students how to deal with corruption practices at the universities if they encounter them in their academic life.
Third Round Table: Corruption in the Higher Education System in Bulgaria – Myth or Reality? and results from an on-line survey on existing corruption practices conducted at the New Bulgarian University, Sofia - 26 October, 2004, Sofia
Round tables conducted at the Technical University in Gabrovo and Plovdiv University "Paisii Hilendarski" and results from an on-line survey on existing corruption practices conducted at the two universities - 18 - 20 May, 2004