For the second time this year, a German university has withdrawn a Ph.D awarded to a politician. The University of Heidelberg said it had no choice but to withdraw the title from Silvana Koch-Mehrin due to plagiarism.
The University of Heidelberg has withdrawn the Ph.D of German former Free Democrat (FDP) politician Silvana Koch-Mehrin.
The University of Heidelberg said the doctoral committee investigating allegations of plagiarism found that her thesis contained substantial passages that were taken from other sources, for which there were no footnotes to indicate that the work was not her own.
During the two month-long investigation, the committee found more than 120 plagiarized passages in over 80 pages of Koch-Mehrin's doctoral thesis on the 19th century Latin Monetary Union. They came from more than 30 different sources, two thirds of which were not identified.
"The doctoral committee understands that the withdrawal of a Ph.D is a serious measure, and didn't take this decision lightly," Manfred Berg, the chairman of the committee said.
However, the findings of the investigation left the committee with no choice but to withdraw the degree, Berg added.
Until last month, Koch-Mehrin, 40, had been one of the Free Democratic Party's most prominent politicians. However, she resigned as vice president of the European Parliament and head of the German FDP in Europe after the allegations of plagiarism were made public in newspaper articles last month.
Koch-Mehrin is the second prominent German politician this year to have been forced to resign over a plagiarized thesis. Former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg stepped down on March 1, after the University of Bayreuth found that he had "deliberately cheated" in his thesis.
Author: Chuck Penfold (dpa, AFP)
Editor: Susan Houlton
Quebec-based Air Canada has announced it has ordered a large number of Boeing aircraft to renew its ageing fleet over the next couple of years. The deal came as a severe blow to European plane maker Airbus.
Homespun hero Kevin Grosskreutz has scored the late winner to salvage Borussia Dortmund's Champions League campaign in Marseille. Schalke qualified with comparative ease, but not without controversy, against Basel.
Germany’s BayernLB bank is seeking damages from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone in connection with an F1 share sale to investor CVC. It claims Ecclestone bribed a senior bank manager to acquire the package cheaply.