Code of ethics_main document

Category: UofK Code of ethics Published on 17 October 2019
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University Message :-

The role of educational policies in promoting academic ethics and in creating an ethically strong and healthy environment

Introduction:-

  • University of Khartoum is committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct in all its activities.
  • Each member of the University community — staff (including honorary, emeritus and visiting staff), students, members of Council and other University committees — has a responsibility to act ethically and in accordance with Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.
  • The University has recognized and acted upon the importance of ethical values since establishment in 1902. The University Legislation encompasses well-established ethical policies and procedures relating to its core activities of teaching, research, community service, fundraising, investments and procurement.

The Code of Ethics structure :-

  • This Code of Practice is designed to provide an accessible, overarching guide to ethical conduct which is grounded in four core activities: teaching, research, fundraising and gifts, and finance (investments and procurement).
  • The University’s council has an over-arching responsibility to keep this Code under review. However, for each of the four areas, detailed ethical matters and processes, including the detailed consideration of ethical cases, rest with the University committees and sub-committees.
  • A member of the University’s senior leadership is responsible for ethical issues in each of the four areas.

Senior leadership responsibilities :-

  • Management, implementation and communication of ethical policies and procedures;
  • Ensuring due diligence is undertaken on ethical issues;
  • Escalating ethical issues within the University through to the relevant committees
  • Ensuring appropriate training is undertaken on ethical issues
  • Keeping the ethical policy and procedures in their area under review and bringing forward any
    changes for approval
  • It is the responsibility of all members of the University to act ethically. The following are the general principles for ethical conduct at all university levels.

Article1
General Principles :-

  • The University’s fundamental values are as follows: excellence and honesty in teaching and research, autonomy, freedom in scholarship and research, respect for personal integrity, humanism, social fairness, equality, and truth.
  • To implement these values the staff, researchers and students strive for integrity and a responsible attitude toward their work, adopt a critical stance, and exercise tolerance and openness to new ideas.
  • Good ethical conduct is not an isolated response to a specific problem but the process of making effective choices from day-to-day.
  • When dealing with a situation with ethical implications, you should consider the following questions and guidance:
  • The University Senate has a general responsibility to the University Council for regulating teaching, including examining and the award of University qualifications.
  • In practice, detailed ethical aspects of teaching are delegated to other University committees, notably Senate sub-committees.
  • The senior member of University staff responsible for ethical matters in teaching and teaching collaborations is the Academic Affairs Secretary.

Article2
Promoting equality :-

  • University of Khartoum is committed to an inclusive learning environment that enables students to reach their full potential, in accordance with the University’s Legislation.
  • These accords with the duties to treat students, staff and visitors to the University
    with dignity and respect, not to unlawfully discriminate, and to promote
    good campus relations and equal opportunities.

Fair admissions:-

  • University of Khartoum was Sudan’s first civic university where students were accepted on academic merit regardless of religion, race, gender or background.
  • This is enshrined in the University Charter. The Vice Chancellor in consultation with faculty deans has overall responsibility for ensuring fair access to the University.
  • (لائحة القبول والتسجيل لسنة 2014 النظام
  • الاساسي ص 357)
  • قانون الجامعة لسنة 1995 المادة (1) 6

Article3
Academic quality and progression:-

  • The University is committed to excellent scholarship on the basis of academic integrity, honesty and respect for the intellectual activity of others. Students’ academic progression is based on academic achievement.
  • Student scholastic work is expected to demonstrate a level of independent thought and the provision of clear referencing to all sources consulted.
  • The University reserves the right to use all legitimate means at its disposal to detect plagiarism wherever it arises and to take the appropriate action in response to the identification of any misconduct.
  • Activities such as plagiarism, misrepresentation, and falsification of data are expressly prohibited.

Student feedback and representation:-

  • The University’s system for student representation and feedback encourage students to become responsible partners in their education, providing them with opportunities for active involvement and ownership of their learning.
  • Elected Student Representatives from all subject areas, undergraduate and postgraduate, are given responsibility for reporting on student issues within their subject to University staff and to the Guild of Students.
  • This allows ethical concerns regarding the subject or method of teaching to be raised at an early stage and at the appropriate level.

Article4
Teaching :-

Academic staff members, researchers, and students uphold the mission of the University by fully and consistently performing their teaching and research activities, by their responsible participation in University bodies, and by acting in accordance with the University’s fundamental values outside its environment (For more details see Supplementary document 1 Code of conduct for professionalism).

  • The relevant subcommittee carefully scrutinizes and, where appropriate, approves academic collaborations with other universities and organizations which support the University’s strategic aims and bring benefits to those involved, and are not discriminatory.
  • (لائحة تنظيم العبء التدريسي لسنة 2014 النظام الاساسي ص 343 المادة 3 و 4)

Article5
Academic freedom :-

  • Academic freedom is the right and also the fundamental responsibility of academic staff members and students to exercise their academic freedom through teaching, research, and creative activities, which are aligned with the generally accepted ethical and University standards. Teaching and methods of instruction are based on scientific findings and empirical evidence.
  • Academic Freedom is an important consideration in ethical matters relating to research. The institutional commitment to academic freedom is enshrined in the University legislation: “To ensure that members of Academic Staff have freedom within the law”
  • قانون الجامعة لسنة 1995 المادة (1) 6
  • (لائحة القبول والتسجيل لسنة 2014 النظام الاساسي ص 357)

Article6
Original, significant and rigorous research :-

  • The fundamental aim of staff members, researchers, and students is intellectual independence, which enables a critical stance towards various issues in the social environment and in research or professional activity. A critical stance is understood as a commitment to constructive criticism and a rejection of any apriorism.
  • Openness to new ideas, within the accepted values, is the foundation of creativity and one of the key teaching and research virtues. Constructive criticism and responsible acceptance of new ideas ensure a high level of quality and prevent oversimplification and extremism.
  • Tolerance by faculty members, researchers, and students enables critical acceptance of diversity. Advocating values in a responsible way prevents tolerance from turning into indifference and apathy.

Conducting Research                                                                        

  • Staff must be honest, accountable and lawful in respect of their own research as well as that of their students and others working with them on research.
  • Responsible ethical conduct is expected in all aspects of research including applying for funding, team work, experimental design, generating and analyzing data, using equipment and facilities, publishing results, authorship and acknowledging the direct and indirect contribution of colleagues, collaborators and others.
  • All research conducted by staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students is required to undergo the appropriate research ethics review process by the relevant Research Ethics Committee (REC) (For more details see supplementary document 2 Research ethics committee and supplementary document 3 Office of research integrity)
  • This approach promotes best research practice, takes account of subject-specific issues, and secures the interests and welfare of research participants, researchers and other stakeholders.
  • Where research falls within specific regulatory and legislative frameworks (e.g. the Ministry of Health Research Governance Framework, the National Medicines and Poisonous Board (Clinical Trials) Regulations, or the Animals (Scientific Procedures).
  • Staff and students are required to comply with the relevant regulatory requirements and the University’s specific ethical processes managed by specialist committees.
  • Staff and students affected by these requirements should contact the Research Governance and Ethics Team for support in the first instance.
  • (لائحة الضوابط الاكاديمية لطلاب كلية الدراسات العليا لسنة 2014 النظام الاساسي ص 349 )

Article7
Knowledge Transfer And Consultancy :-

  • Academic staff wishing to engage in outside activities (e.g. personal consultancy) must first obtain authority to do so from their faculty Dean and provide such information as required to enable a decision on this matter to be made.
  • All international collaborations should be approved with due regard to intellectual, academic, moral and financial rights of the university. (senior member responsible Scientific research and cultural relationship manager)
  • Individuals are expected to consider their integrity and accountability as an employee of the institution before submitting requests to undertake private work.
  • (ادارة البحث العلمي والعلاقات الثقافية )

Article8
Fundraising And Gifts :-

  • The University is required to comply with University act and Islamic Trust (Wagf).
  • قانون الجامعة لسنة 1995 المادة 33 (1)
  • All potential donors and donations — regardless of the potential gift amount — should be discussed with the Vice Chancellor at the earliest possible stage and before any donation is accepted.
  • Due diligence will be undertaken in respect of all single gifts dependent on donating body.
  • Potential reputational risks that result from negative public perception will be considered.

Transparent and Responsible Fundraising :-

  • All donations will be used in accordance with the University’s mission and standards.
  • Every effort will be made to respond to donor’s requests in terms of the mode, frequency and availability of information from the University.
  • Donors have the right to see their own donor record.
  • Any donor records maintained by the University are kept confidential to the greatest extent possible.

Management Of The Gift:-

  • Donors accept that the management, and governance of programme and/or activities funded through philanthropy, rests solely with the University.

Ethics of Funding Research:-

  • As funding for research comes from different sources, the university must be sure that these sources are of unquestionable integrity.
  • Moreover, the university must scrutinize the research objectives and requirements of funding.
  • Foreign funding institutions are inclined to set research objectives which best serve the interest of their governments.
  • Companies, also, tend to incorporate the promotion of their products in the funded research projects.
  • The University will not accept any funding that is incompatible with its values and objectives; or come from illegal, dubious and suspicious sources; or obtained from any sources that will compromise its credibility, reputation, and professionalism.
  • The researcher should not accept any funding that will constrain his/her freedom and objectivity, or where the funder wants the research to reach certain results that will serve its interests.
  • There should be a responsibility towards the funder, the University, and the research project.
  • The researcher should mention the sources of funding when publishing the research.

There are five elements that should be considered in the ethics of research funding:

  • The rights of the donor.
  • The process of obtaining the fund.
  • Financial accountability.
  • Acceptable sources of funding.
  • The protection of the research information and data.

The rights of the donor:-

  • If the goal is to seek donations for the University, this should be written in a headed-paper of the University, and the purpose of the donation should be specified.
  • The status of the person who is seeking the funding for the University should be mentioned (an academic staff, an administrator, a volunteer, etc).
  • The donor should get an annual financial and information report.
  • The confidentiality of the donor should be maintained if it requested so, and if this request is legally, practically, and ethically viable. A secret file of the donor should be kept by the University.

The process of obtaining the fund :-

  • It should be characterized by credibility and transparency.

Financial accountability:-

  • Financial transactions should be transparent and done according to the University financial rules and regulations.

Challenges of funding :-

  • A prime example is the constraints imposed by the donor such as restrictions on publishing, or prohibition of publishing.

Conflict of Interests :-

  • Avoid a conflict of interests. This occurs when a donor fulfils a personal or institutional interest, while holding at the same time an administrative post in the funding institution.
  • Holding a post, alone, is not sufficient for causing the conflict, in addition to that, the person would undermine objectivity and integrity towards others.

Consultative work :-

  • Despite the many positive elements associated with academic staff doing consultative research project, a number of negative elements are, also, embedded with such work.
  • Academic staff who are consumed, most of the time, in the consultative wok, do not have enough time to prepare for good teaching, since it add little to their promotion efforts, and in determining their salaries.
  • Moreover, they do not have enough time to meet their students.

Article9
Legal and Financial Protection:-

  • Staff must ensure that all externally funded research and Knowledge Transfer activities are administered in accordance with University regulations.
  • All externally funded activity should be established with the relevant legal and financial protection for all parties.
  • قانون الجامعة لسنة 1995 المادة 33 (1،2، 3،4)

Article10
Honest and Transparent Business Operations :-

  • All staff, students and agents working on behalf of the University should conduct business without the use of corrupt practices or acts of bribery to obtain an unfair advantage.
  • All activities or circumstances that might give rise to conflicts of interest or the perception of conflicts as it first arises should be recognized and declared to ensure that such conflicts are properly managed in accordance with University regulations.
  • Members of staff, student or University committees should not accept, offer or give corruptly any gift or consideration as an inducement or reward.
  • Giving or receiving gifts, entertainment or hospitality in matters connected with University business is acceptable provided they fall within reasonable bounds of value and occurrence.
  • All members of the University community must risk assess the vulnerability of their activities to accusations of bribery and corruption, particularly overseas activities, on a continuous basis.

Article11
Procurement :-

  • Expenditure of University funds must be administered with the highest levels of probity and transparency with all parties responsible for securing the best value for money in purchases in accordance with governmental regulations.
  • University should ensure that chosen suppliers are abide by standards of ethical conduct that satisfy our requirements.
  • The Procurement Office undertakes due diligence, which includes consideration of reputational and ethical considerations as part of the contracting process, raising issues with the Director of Finance as necessary.
  • (لائحة عطاءات جامعة الخرطوم لسنة 2014 النظام الاساسي ص 371)

Article12
Conduct towards University Resources:-

  • Academic staff, University personnel, and students at the University are obliged to use the equipment, facilities, and financial means they are entrusted with in accordance with their proper purpose and with due diligence.
  • University resources should be economically and to the greatest possible benefit to University community.
  • University resources should not be used exclusively for private gain.

Article13
Administrative Positions:-

  • In their conduct, University staff that hold administrative positions at the University should adhere to the highest ethical standards.
  • They perform their duties in the spirit of the academic tradition with dedication and responsibility, taking into account the long-term effects of the measures they propose and introduce.
  • They seek to achieve consensus in their decision-making.

Maintenance and Preservation of Accurate Records :-

All University members holding administrative positions are should create and maintain records and documentation which fully conform to all applicable laws and professional and ethical standards.

Article14
Concern for Health and Safety; Respecting the Environment:-

  • Every member of the University is expected, in the performance of his or her duties, to comply with all laws and regulations which govern occupational and patient health and safety and to make every reasonable effort to ensure that students, staff, patients, employees, and visitors are protected from undue health risks and unsafe conditions.
  • Every member of the University is expected, in the course of his / her duties, to comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations; to ensure that the University has obtained all necessary licenses, permits, and approvals; and to employ the proper procedures and controls in the storage and handling of radioactive and toxic materials and in the handling and disposition of hazardous wastes. 
  •       مجالس مجامع الجامعة
  • ادارة تأمين الجامعة

Article15
Objectives of Adopting an IP Policy for the University:-

  • The main objective of adapting an IP policy for the University is, among others, to effectively utilize the inventions, creations and innovations generated by the Staff members and students in all fields of knowledge to the benefit of the University and the entire community.
  • Protection of literary and artistic works of the University, staff members and the students.
  • Dissemination of knowledge generated on the University to the society through technology transfer.
  • Regulation of the relation between the University and the inventors-staff members or students- as well as the University and the technology users.
  • Fair and equitable distribution of the financial gains from an invention or creation between the inventors and the University.
  • Establish a system of rights and obligations of the inventor or creator and the University on one hand, and the supervisor and the student on the other hand.
  • Guarantee acquiescence with the concerned bodies and entities in the field of intellectual property.
  • Protection of rights can act as an incentive to the creation of more inventions and attracting incubators with the aim to commercialize those inventions.
  • Review by way of appeal the reports submitted by the committees regarding research integrity misconduct;
  • Implement various programs and activities to teach and train the affiliates of the University responsible research conduct to prevent research misconduct;
  • Conduct policy analyses, evaluations and research to build the knowledge base in research integrity and research misconduct; and
  • Submit the final findings and decisions regarding research integrity misconduct claims to the Vice-Chancellor.

(For more details see supplementary document 4 University of Khartoum IP policy)

References:-

http://www.bolton.ac.uk/Students/PoliciesProceduresRegulations/AllStudents/ResearchEthics/Home.aspx

  • University of Birmingham code of ethics

http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/university/legal/uob-code-of-ethics.pdf

All Rights Reserved to Department of Academic Ethics Secretariat of Academic Affairs