Germany's education minister, Annette Schavan, 57, has resigned from her post amidst a plagiarism scandal involving her doctorate degree. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has accepted Schavan's resignation reportedly 'with a heavy heart'.
It may be recalled that Heinrich Heine University had revoked Schavan’s doctorate title after a 12-2 vote last week. The university held that Schavan had intentionally plagiarised in her dissertation on 'how the conscience is formed'.
Schavan had found out about the university’s decision while she was in South Africa last week and had to resign after her return under opposition's persistent pressure. Furthermore, the German Association of University professors and lecturers also wanted Schavan to quit as education minister.
A few years ago, German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg's doctorate degree was withdrawn by a German university and he had to quit his post.
However, after resignation and its acceptance, Schavan said that she would challenge the decision of the university in the court asserting that she neither copied nor deceived in her dissertation.