Norway's higher education minister resigns over plagiarism scandal

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Norway's higher education minister resigns over plagiarism scandal
Minister of Research and Education Sandra Borch is pictured on 19th January 2024 at a press conference in Oslo where she announced she was stepping down after it was revealed her 2014 masters' thesis contained passages that were identical to olde theses from other students. Photo: Rodrigo Freitas / NTB

Norway's research and higher education minister Sandra Borch resigned on Friday after admitting plagiarising other students' work, including their faults, in her masters' dissertation.


"I made a big mistake," the 35-year-old Borch told a hastily arranged press conference. "I used the texts of other dissertations without quoting the source. I am sorry."

Norwegian media had earlier highlighted similarities between her 2014 text and other works, notably those of two other students. None had been quoted in references.

A student who revealed the affair on X, the former Twitter, said Borch had lifted word for word a passage from another dissertation and left the typing mistakes.

The issue is particularly embarrassing for Borch because she decided last week to take to the Supreme Court the case of a student who had been cleared on appeal of self-plagiarism for using passages of her own work.

The Centre Party deputy became higher education minister last year in the centre-left government after previously serving as agriculture minister from 2021 to 2023.


Borch's dissertation at Tromso university in 2014 focused on safety regulations in the oil industry.

Several members of the Norwegian government have resigned in recent months because of conflicts of interest controversies.




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