- Title: GERMANY: German education minister stripped of doctorate
- Date: 6th February 2013
- Summary: ULM, GERMANY (JANUARY 25, 2013) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ANNETTE SCHAVAN AT CDU MEETING FRANKFURT, GERMANY (FILE - OCTOBER 10, 2012) (REUTERS) LIBRARIAN PULLS OUT ANNETTE SCHAVAN'S THESIS OUT FROM SHELF GARCHING, GERMANY (FILE - OCTOBER 7, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SCHAVAN AT OPENING OF SUPERMUC COMPUTER CENTRE IN MUNICH
- Embargoed: 21st February 2013 12:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Crime,Education,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA4TMRD2L812PZ2DE0AAR0Y0R4W
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: German Education Minister Annette Schavan gets a dressing down from the Duesseldorf University which revokes her doctorate for plagiarism.
A German university board voted on Tuesday (February 5) to revoke the doctoral thesis of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Education Minister Annette Schavan, possibly damaging the conservative leader's re-election campaign this year.
The University of Duesseldorf's doctoral commission voted 12-2, with one abstention, to revoke Schavan's 1980 doctoral thesis, saying she had plagiarised parts of her work.
"The doctoral candidate systematically and deliberately portrayed intellectual achievements and thoughts throughout the entire dissertation which in reality did not stem from her," said head of the philosophy faculty, Bruno Bleckmann.
Allegations of plagiarism have dogged her since May and she asked the university to examine them. A report by its philosophy faculty found indications of a "plagiaristic approach" on 60 of the 351 pages, magazine Der Spiegel reported.
Schavan, who is one of Merkel's closest allies in the centre-right coalition, has denied any wrongdoing and said she wrote her thesis with a clear conscience. According to German media, Schavan's lawyers said they would appeal the ruling.
The probe could embarrass Merkel ahead of the September's federal election, where the German leader will be attempting to win a third term.
The accusations are similar to those that in 2011 brought down Merkel's defence minister and heir-apparent, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, but could prove more damaging for the government only eight months before an election.
As Schavan is education minister, the case is a direct threat to her credibility, and opposition leaders have called on her to resign. Merkel has said Schavan has her confidence.
Schavan was among the first to condemn Guttenberg for plagiarising his PhD thesis, calling it "shameful". Schavan's thesis is entitled "People and Conscience - Studies on the conditions, necessity and requirements for formation of conscience today".
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