• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Med school: top minister plagiarized her thesis
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: DPA.

Med school: top minister plagiarized her thesis

AFP · 10 Mar 2016, 09:32

Published: 10 Mar 2016 09:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Mar 2016 09:32 GMT+01:00

Von der Leyen had been caught in a political storm over media reports that she plagiarized portions of her doctoral thesis, a charge that had previously brought down other high-level German politicians.

In a bid to clear her name, she had asked the Hanover Medical School, where she obtained her doctorate in the 1990s, to reevaluate the paper.

After months of examination, however, the medical school's president Christopher Baum said Wednesday: "The Senate decided... with a majority of seven to one votes to not strip the (doctorate) title."

Although von der Leyen was found to have plagiarized some portions, the committee found this to be an "error but not misconduct".

"It's an error in the form of plagiarism in which paragraphs of text were used without correct identification of the authors," said Baum, adding however that "the pattern of plagiarism does not point to deliberate deception."

The school's president also added these errors did not compromise the "scientific value" of the thesis.

Von der Leyen welcomed the result saying: "I am glad that the university has concluded after a thorough examination that my experiments for medical research were relevant and fulfilled the requirements of scientific work."

However, she also acknowledged that "parts of my former work do not meet the standards I set for myself".

Story continues below…

Von der Leyen was also in the hot seat last year over accusations that she exaggerated her CV.

Three senior German politicians have stepped down from their jobs since 2011 after being caught in plagiarism scandals.

They included Karl-Theodor von Guttenberg, who was defence minister and a rising political star in 2011 but who was forced to resign after his doctorate was rescinded for plagiarism, earning the aristocrat the nickname "Baron Cut-and-Paste".

A lot of value and prestige is placed on academic titles in Germany, with the label of doctor being systematically included when identifying oneself.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brexit vote
Left leader calls for German referendum on EU deals
Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht. Photo: DPA.

The left-wing leader of the official opposition party in Germany said that it’s time the German people also have a say on what goes on in Brussels.

Teacher overpaid quarter of a million euros. No one notices
Photo: DPA

The Düsseldorf teacher was paid a full-time salary for six years, despite only working part time.

Euro 2016
Germans react with glee to England’s Iceland humiliation
Distraught England players after Iceland defeat. photo: DPA

Still upset by their British brothers voting for Brexit, Germans expressed an overwhelming sense of Schadenfreude at England's Euro 2016 exit.

Cleaning spray sets off shock explosion in Frankfurt cafe
Photo: Frankfurt fire department.

Four people have been injured in an explosion at a cafe in a Frankfurt shopping district. The culprit: cleaning products.

Brexit vote
Merkel vows to create 'new impulse' for EU
Chancellor Angela Merkel with French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy vowed on Monday "a new impulse" for the EU as it reels from Brexit.

Police investigate after 'Nazi knifeman' threatens President
Demonstrators protest against the visit of President Joachim Gauck. Photo: DPA.

German President Joachim Gauck was confronted by some aggressive right-wing extremists during an official weekend visit, including one man carrying a knife.

Telekom warns all users to change passwords after scam
Photo: DPA.

German giant Deutsche Telekom is warning customers to change their passwords after finding that up to 120,000 customers' data was being sold on the black market.

Brexit vote
How Brits can escape to Germany and still feel at home
The store Broken English in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Giving up on the UK post-Brexit? Come to Germany - it's not so different!

German MPs file war crimes suit against Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

A group of German politicians and public figures have filed a lawsuit against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing him of committing war crimes against his country's Kurdish minority.

Brexit vote
Merkel: no backroom deals with UK on Brexit
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out on Monday informal talks with the UK on the terms of a Brexit, but said the EU should be patient with London.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Sport
How to sound like an expert on German football this summer
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
How pictures of footballers on chocolates made Pegida really mad
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
7,830
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd