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German education minister quits over plagiarism

Annette Schavan had her doctorate withdrawn after it was found she had plagiarised parts of her thesis. Picture: Getty

Annette Schavan had her doctorate withdrawn after it was found she had plagiarised parts of her thesis. Picture: Getty

Germany’s education minister has resigned after a university decided to withdraw her doctorate, finding that she plagiarised parts of her thesis.

• German education minister Annette Schavan resigns after having doctorate withdrawn for plagiarism

• Anonymous blogger first raised concerns last year

Merkel said today that she had accepted minister Annette Schavan’s resignation “with a very heavy heart.”

On Tuesday, Duesseldorf’s Heinrich Heine University decided to revoke Schavan’s doctorate following a review of her 1980 thesis, which dealt with the formation of conscience.

The review was undertaken after an anonymous blogger last year raised plagiarism allegations, which the minister has denied.

Schavan’s resignation comes two years after then-Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg lost his doctorate and quit when it emerged that he copied large parts of his doctoral thesis.

The incident is widely viewed as an embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government ahead of national elections in a few months’ time.

 

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