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Education chief plagiarized, stripped of doctorate's

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 9:38 p.m.

BERLIN — Germany's education minister was stripped of her doctorate on Tuesday after a committee of academics concluded that she plagiarized substantial parts of her 1980 thesis, which dealt with the formation of conscience.

Annette Schavan, 57, is the second minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet to lose a doctorate over being accused of plagiarism. Former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned from his post in 2011 when it was learned he copied large parts of his doctoral thesis.

Schavan, who denied the allegations, plans to appeal the decision by Duesseldorf's Heinrich Heine University.

The head of the academic committee that voted 12-2, with one abstention, to remove Schavan's doctorate said the decision followed a thorough review of her thesis.

Bruno Bleckmann said the minister's thesis “contains a substantial number of uncredited direct quotes from other texts.” Schavan failed to cite the works she used in her footnotes or bibliography, leading the committee to conclude that she had “claimed intellectual achievements (...) that weren't her own,” said Bleckmann.

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