• Germany edition
 
Plagiarism case against education minister starts
Photo: DPA

Plagiarism case against education minister starts

Published: 23 Jan 2013 14:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Jan 2013 14:35 GMT+01:00

Schavan, who completed her dissertation in Düsseldorf in 1980, has long denied she failed to properly cite her sources.

But accusations of plagiarism began appearing on the blog schavanplag.wordpress last May, prompting the university to announce it would investigate. Passages on 60 of the dissertation's 351 pages were found to be questionable. On Tuesday, university officials said they would open official proceedings against Schavan.

But the minister remained defiant on Wednesday: "I'm convinced these unfounded plagiarism charges will be disproved."

However, the Christian Democratic politician could face a long wait to be cleared, as the university has not said how long the proceedings will take. A second sitting of the investigatory board has been scheduled for February 5.

Over the coming weeks, members of the faculty of philosophy will be “working intensively through documents from the PhD board and affected party's statements,” to come to a decision.

Leading the group is Professor Bruno Bleckmann, who said on Wednesday that if the board decided to withdraw Schavan's doctorate, she may chose to appeal at the Düsseldorf administrative court.

If her appeal were to fail there, Schavan could take the case higher to the administrative appeals court in Münster and in the last instance to the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig.

The Greens have called on her to resign should she lose her doctorate.

Beyond the embarrassment at having Germany’s top education official face charges of academic impropriety, it is not the first plagiarism case to hit Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

In 2011, her popular defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, was forced to resign when it was uncovered he had copied large chunks of his doctoral dissertation.

DPA/The Local/jcw/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

19:44 January 23, 2013 by mitanni
Disproven? Really? Anybody can just look at it and make up their own mind: schavanplag.wordpress.com

In the age of the Internet, it's much harder for politicians to weasel out of their record or bully others into giving in.
20:08 January 23, 2013 by raandy
Doctor Titles, are easy if you have money ,connections and most important time. Plagiarism is pandemic in the world of Academia,its a "good old boys club".
07:13 January 24, 2013 by McM
And when will the review of the UNI and shonky faculty academic board that issued the award to the candidate take place if it is judged to be a below standard submission?
22:55 January 24, 2013 by catjones
Doctor Titles, are easy if you have money ,connections and most important time. Plagiarism is pandemic in the world of Academia,its a "good old boys club".
19:23 January 25, 2013 by raandy
catjones and???????
Today's headlines
Size does matter in this case, rules judge
Photo:Shutterstock

Size does matter in this case, rules judge

A judge has ordered a deliveryman's manhood to be measured after he claimed in court that it was too small for him to be guilty of exhibitionism. READ  

Crimea annexation unnerves Germans: Poll
Ukrainian soldiers near Luhansk, Ukraine. Photo: DPA

Crimea annexation unnerves Germans: Poll

Almost two thirds of Germans fear Russia plans further land grabs in Ukraine, according to an opinion poll released on the eve of Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to the conflict-torn country. READ  

Ice bucket challenge gets dumped on Germany
Actress Natascha Ochsenknecht gets doused. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge gets dumped on Germany

German football players, German tennis players, German TV characters and Germany's latest Topmodel winner are on it, but is it actually making a difference? READ  

Defence chief shot down over shooting quip
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen tries on military body armour. Photo: DPA

Defence chief shot down over shooting quip

Amid heated debates over arms for Iraq, the Ukraine crisis, and Germany's foreign military involvement despite its WWII legacy, defence chief Ursula von der Leyen stirred a debate of her own on Friday after a dud World Cup gag. READ  

Expat Dispatches
He'll take my name: yes he's really sure!
He says "I will!" Photo: DPA

He'll take my name: yes he's really sure!

A quick and uncomplicated conversation between a recently engaged couple concluded that the husband-to-be would take on his fiancee's surname. However, no one was more surprised by people's reactions than Australian expat Liv Hambrett. READ  

Newborn white lion cubs are pride of the circus
Photo:DPA

Newborn white lion cubs are pride of the circus

Four white lions born into the Krone Circus during its stop in Magdeburg yesterday find themselves in a Germany reliving a decades-old fight over exotic animals displayed for profit. READ  

Heart centre accused of fiddling transplant list
A donor heart gets delivered to the DHZB. Photo: DPA

Heart centre accused of fiddling transplant list

UPDATE: The German Heart Institute of Berlin (DHZB) is under investigation for attempted manslaughter after evidence showed a doctor manipulated patient data to get them a new heart faster. READ  

Germany sues Swiss bank over missing marks
Julius Bär bank. Photo:DPA

Germany sues Swiss bank over missing marks

Berlin is suing one of Switzerland's largest banks in its bid to recuperate hundreds of million euros that went missing during the reunification of East and West Germany, the bank said Thursday. READ  

Trial of cannibalism fetish cop to begin
The scene of the crime. Photo: DPA

Trial of cannibalism fetish cop to begin

The trial of a German police officer accused of murdering a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists starts on Friday in the eastern city of Dresden. READ  

False teeth of the dead: finders keepers?
Coffins awaiting incineration in a crematorium. Photo: DPA

False teeth of the dead: finders keepers?

An Erfurt court has decided not to force a 56-year old man to pay damages for more than 31 kilos of gold teeth taken from the crematorium in Hamburg where he worked between 2003 and 2011. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
A German journalist shares the story of his US arrest in Ferguson
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,365
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd