Code of Ethics

Compass map

This Code was approved by the Board of Foundation on 18 December 2018. It is an update of the Code approved by the Board of Foundation on 25 March 2017 following the adoption of the new Vision, Mission and Values by the Board of Foundation on 4 July 2018.

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to provide an ethical compass and behavioural standards to be respected by the various actors involved in the service of the Foundation. It is based upon the Vision, Mission and Values, on the Statutes and By-laws of the Foundation and on the strategies and policies. It is valid for all programmes and activities.

2. Scope

This Code of Ethics applies to all who serve around the world, including: Board of Foundation members, Board committees, senior advisors and advisory board members, members of the Executive Committee, employees, interns, volunteers, associates, fellows, mandate holders, consultants, experts, Regional Programme directors and programme executives, National Contacts, academic chairs, sales representatives and all other individuals under contractual obligations.

3. Vision, Mission and Values is the Global Ethics Network of Teachers and Institutions with the following Vision - "Ethics in Higher Education" - and Mission.

We apply Ethics in Higher Education through

E Empowerment - Developing Talents

Transformation - Placing common good before self-interest

H Holistic approach - understanding of in-depth correlations

Integrity - making values-based decisions and behaviours

C Competence - focusing on innovative and collective proficiency

Sustainability - standing up for one world

  • We empower teachers in higher education through teacher training, research, course development and collaborative projects
  • We support institutions in their efforts to introduce ethical behaviour in higher education institutions and support the integration of relevant and contextual standards and structures
  • We provide professions with educational materials adapted to their profession to grow a deeper understanding of ethics in their context (for them to use to practice ethics)
  • We encourage students to behave ethically, showing them best practices of individuals, companies and organisations that have become successful by following ethical standards and principles and
  • We contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Our values are

  • Responsibility: responsible decisions and actions in private, professional and public life
  • Quality first: our priority is to serve our target groups with excellence in all of our activities
  • Teamwork: we combine talents and resources for best solutions and operational excellence
  • Respect: we respect the dignity of every person
  • Trust: is the basis for cooperation with our partners
  • Contextualisation: we translate the vision, mission and values into the cultural context
  • Inclusion/Fairness: we work to overcome exclusion and to recognise equality, justice and fairness for all.

4. Our Engagement

We, to whom this Code applies, commit ourselves to uphold the values in this Code in our activities, our dealings with each other and with others outside of our organisation. These values form the basis of our work culture, management systems and processes.

We do not tolerate sexual harassment, discrimination or racism.

We do not tolerate any form of bribery, corruption, improper gifts, facilitation payments or fraudulent practices of any kind. employees must not receive, offer, promise, give or authorise others to give anything of value, either directly or indirectly, to any party in order to gain personal advantage.

As an organisation, safeguards its reputation and ensures that it does not receive funds or gifts or procure services that are in contradiction to's Vision, Mission and Values.

We, the Head Office staff, Board of Foundation members and Regional Programme staff as appropriate, complete and sign the Conflicts of Interest Declaration at the beginning of each year. We are obliged to declare any and all potential conflicts of interest resulting from activities, relations or mandates inside or outside of the organisation.

5. Binding Character of the Code and its Monitoring

We, to whom this Code applies, implement it as a rule of practice and commit ourselves to full disclosure. It is included in employees' employment contracts as an annex. New persons, to whom the Code is applicable, are informed about the Code by the Executive Committee. The Code is to be referred to in the planning and evaluation of activities and during staff evaluations with employees, both at Head Office and in the regions.

6. Sanctions in Case of Violation of the Code

When we have reason to believe that this Code of Ethics has been breached in any way we bring our concerns to the management of Breaches made by any of us to whom this Code applies will be subject to appropriate measures to be determined at the discretion of the management and if necessary by the Board of Foundation of Measures could include disciplinary proceedings, dismissal and reporting the behaviour to the relevant authorities. Disciplinary action may be taken not only against persons violating the Code, but also against any employees who consciously permit such a violation or who attempt to influence or penalise subordinates for communicating such violations.

Whistleblowers reporting on matters related to's activities are protected and no adverse action shall be taken against any person who, acting in good faith, brings forward such information. To report breaches of this Code of Ethics, please contact

  1. the Head of Human Resources in the first instance at,
  2. then the Executive Director at or the President at, in the second instance and
  3. finally in a letter sent by post in an envelope marked confidential for the attention of the Ethics and Compliance Committee of the Board of Foundation at - Head Office, 150, route de Ferney, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland.

7. Changes to the Code and Validity

This Code will be reviewed and amended as needed. Modifications are subject to the approval of the Board of Foundation and are automatically binding. The Code of Ethics is publicly available.

Useful links Mission, Vision and Values – Foundation Statutes and Bylaws – Foundation Policies and Rules –

  • Ethical Profile
  • Privacy Policy
  • Library Collection Policy
  • Library Terms of Service Agreement
  • Library Copyright for Submitters of Documents
  • Research Partnership Principles
  • Publications
  • Staff Rules and Regulations
  • Interns
  • Rules on Expenses and Compensation
  • Conflicts of Interest Annual Disclosure Statement