Ethics are the basic principles of laws, norms and moral codes by which a specialized profession or group abide. They are ways of conducts recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group of culture. The philosophy of ethics involves systematizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong. It seeks to resolve questions of human morality such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime.
The University of Khartoum is the oldest university in the country. Its roots go back to 1902. Since then and for many years the community of the university was not large and was homogenous, the number of faculties and affiliated institutions was small, the fields of actions and interactions were limited and consequently the inconveniences and the differences were very few. At present, the University of Khartoum has expanded to become one of the biggest universities in the region and the most diversified university in the country, with a community of more than 40000 students and over 80000 employees. The University has 23 faculties, 13 research institutions and 8 research centers, all of them manned with scientists, researchers and scholars. As part of human nature, such big number of employees is vulnerable to differences of opinions, differences in planning, conflicts of interest, personnel gains and probably to breaching of values and laws.
It is of utmost importance to set down guidelines of ethics and principles and to familiarize the employees of the University with them. This will regulate the conduct and actions of the individuals in the University and help them to avoid, as well as to anticipate, any possible breach of these ethics or values, not only in science or academia, but in all aspects of life. Such guidelines will also act as a reference, and be of benefit, to all the employees of the Ministry of Higher Education
The Academic Affairs Secretary and the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics at the University of Khartoum took the initiative to lay down the foundation of such guidelines after carrying out a workshop in cooperation with UNESCO Regional Bureau of Science in the Arab States – Cairo and a series of workshops at the four campuses of the University of Khartoum.
It is my hope that this manual will throw light on the values and the ethics’ guidelines for collaboration and conduction of research, will remain as a reference and a guide to the University of Khartoum employees, and to others whenever and wherever needed.
University of Khartoum Vice chancellor