The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, the Hon. Ann Vanstone QC, has today published a report on the findings of a survey of more than 3,200 public officers working in South Australia’s public universities.

Survey respondents from the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and the University of South Australia shared their thoughts, perceptions and experiences of corruption and inappropriate conduct within their university.

Some key findings of the ICAC University Integrity Survey 2020 include:

  • More than a third of respondents indicated that generally they would feel intimidated to report corruption or inappropriate conduct, yet 75% agreed they would be willing to report to someone inside their university.
  • Only one in four respondents agreed their university had adequate protections for those who report and 35% asserted their university places its reputation over addressing problems.
  • Academic staff had consistently less positive responses to the survey questions than their non-academic peers and this difference was largely driven by less senior academics.
  • Sections within a university often provided quite different responses, suggesting the presence of distinct workplace ‘cultures’.

More than 1,000 respondents also provided anonymous written comments. These comments were revealing of staff concerns about bullying and harassment, workplace culture, the impact of a suggested focus on student fees and revenue, favouritism / nepotism, and improper practices in student assessment and enrolment.

The ICAC University Integrity Survey 2020 builds upon the ICAC Public Integrity Survey 2018 — which received responses from more than 12,000 public officers across South Australia — and helps complete our understanding of the attitudes and experiences of public officers as regards corruption and inappropriate conduct in South Australian public administration.

The ICAC University Integrity Survey 2020 is published on the ICAC’s website:

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ICAC Media Release - University Integrity Survey 2020 - report published