Earlier this month, a report produced by the anti-corruption agency Transparency International exposed the extent of fraud in international higher education.
It included numerous examples of unethical behaviour, including these five cases of fraud that left a multi-million dollar hole in the higher education sector’s budget.
5. Iona College
In March 2011, the former vice president of finance of Iona College in New York, Marie Thornton, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $850,000 (£525,000) by issuing college cheques for her own use, using a college credit card for personal purchases and making false expenses claims.
Ms Thornton, a catholic nun also known as Sister Susie, committed the thefts over a period of 10 years.
In April 2011, Arthur Fisher, a project manager at Vassar College in New York, and his wife Jennifer Fisher, were sent to prison after they created a fictitious construction company and began charging the college for services that had not been performed.
The scheme netted $1.9 million (£1.2 million) over five years.
3. Myungshin University and Sungwha College
In 2011, South Korea’s education ministry closed two universities down after they committed “serious corruption and irregularities”, AsiaOne News reported.
The closure of Sungwha College followed embezzlement by its founder, while employees at Myungshin were also alleged to have stolen funds.
The closures forced enrolled students to seek places in other institutions, while students who were promised places in the future had to seek alternative placements.
2. The University of Montana
In 2010, Christine Bitterman, who worked in the Residence Life office at the University of Montana, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $300,000 (£186,000) over a period of seven years, the Missoulian reported.
She had been stealing student rent payments that had been made in cash.
1. The University of Vermont
In July 2012, Celine Bernier, a former administrative assistant with the University of Vermont, was sent to prison after pleading guilty to depositing university cheques totalling almost $46,000 (£28,500) into her personal account over a five-year period.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the university was tipped off by a letter from Community National Bank that contained a check for $1,425 payable to UVM Extension - the university’s community outreach arm - that had been deposited into Ms Bernier’s personal account.