German Education Minister Annette Schavan has resigned after Heinrich Heine University stripped her of her doctorate for plagiarism.
Duesseldorf’s Heinrich Heine University voted last Tuesday to remove her doctorate following a review.
Annette Schavan, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, had insisted she would fight the ruling and not resign.
In 2011, Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg also quit after allegations he plagiarized his thesis.
German Education Minister Annette Schavan has resigned after Heinrich Heine University stripped her of her doctorate for plagiarism
Annette Schavan, 57, was awarded her doctorate 30 years ago, but the university found she had “systematically and intentionally” copied parts of it.
She had been scathing in her criticism of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg when the scandal of his plagiarism broke.
Analysts say her resignation will be hugely embarrassing to Angela Merkel.
Angela Merkel is facing federal elections on September 22.
Part of Annette Schavan’s brief as education minister is to oversee German universities.
University of Duesseldorf in Germany has voted to strip Education Minister Annette Schavan of her doctorate after an investigation into plagiarism allegations.
The University of Duesseldorf’s philosophy faculty decided on Tuesday that she had carried out “a deliberate deception through plagiarism”.
Annette Schavan has denied the claims and said she will appeal.
An earlier plagiarism row brought an end to the political career of Germany’s defence minister in 2011.
Large parts of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s 2006 legal dissertations were found by Bayreuth University to have been copied and he stood down before it issued its damning verdict in May 2011.
Using the same words as Duesseldorf’s Heinrich Heine University, it concluded that he had “deliberately deceived”.
When Annette Schavan became the second minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to be accused of copying her doctorate, in this case by an anonymous blogger, she insisted she had never “knowingly falsely cited any sources” and promised to respond to the accusations.
But the faculty committee concluded that her work, which dealt with the formation of conscience, included a “substantial number of unaccredited direct quotes from other texts”.
In a statement declaring the doctorate invalid and withdrawing it from Annette Schavan, the faculty head Bruno Bleckmann said they had “decided by secret ballot, by 12 votes to two, with one abstention”.
University of Duesseldorf in Germany has voted to strip Education Minister Annette Schavan of her doctorate after an investigation into plagiarism allegations
Annette Schavan, 57, was said to be on a five-day education and science co-operation trip to South Africa. Education minister since 2005, Annette Schavan is described as a close colleague of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Her lawyers reportedly rejected the university’s ruling and said Annette Schavan would appeal.
When the university announced its inquiry, Annette Schavan said she had no intention of standing down.
But the investigation into one of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s closest allies is seen as potentially awkward months before Germans vote in federal elections.
The popular German newspaper Bild said the news was a bitter blow to the chancellor, and wondered whether Angela Merkel would need to find a new education minister at the start of her election campaign.
University of Duesseldorf is to investigate allegations that German Education Minister Annette Schavan plagiarized parts of her doctoral thesis in 1980.
The University of Duesseldorf has voted to back the inquiry into Annette Schavan’s philosophy thesis on the formation of conscience.
Annette Schavan has denied the claims first raised by an anonymous blogger.
But the investigation into one of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s closest allies is seen as potentially awkward months before federal elections.
Another plagiarism row in 2011 led to the resignation of Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, when it emerged that large parts of his doctoral thesis were copied.
Annette Schavan has told the Suedwest Presse newspaper she had no intention of resigning. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said on Wednesday she had full confidence in the minister’s work.
University of Duesseldorf is to investigate allegations that German Education Minister Annette Schavan plagiarized parts of her doctoral thesis in 1980
An initial evaluation of Annette Schavan’s PhD thesis found questionable passages on 60 of its 351 pages, according to earlier media reports.
The minister told a German newspaper last year that she had never “knowingly falsely cited any sources and did not “attempt to mislead”.
The university’s doctoral board said it had to investigate the allegations “regardless of the person or her position”.
“The board has discussed the facts in detail and voted with a secret ballot by a score of 14-0 with one abstention to open a full investigation,” the university’s dean, Bruno Bleckmann, was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.
The board is set to meet again on February 5.