(11 Jan 2021) Austria Labor Minister Christine Aschbacher has resigned amidst a plagiarism scandal that accuses her of plagiarizing two separate theses that she submitted as part of her academic career.
According to allegations first levied by blogger Stefan Weber, Aschbacher has committed plagiarism and academic fraud in two theses. The first, a 2006 master’s thesis that was submitted to the University of Applied Sciences in Wiener Neustadt. At the time, she was graduated from the school with high marks. The second is from May 2020 as she sought her doctorate from the Technical University of Bratislava in Slovakia. According to Weber, that thesis includes a variety of “gobbledygook, nonsense and plagiarism” with over 20% of the paper coming from other sources that are not cited.
Aschbacher, for her part, has denied the allegations. However, she says she made the choice to resign due to hostility and insults being directed at her and her family. According to her, the decision was made to “protect my family”. A successor is expected to be named today.
However, as important as the story is for Austria, it’s just another piece in a much larger plagiarism puzzle that has impacted politicians across many different countries in Europe.
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