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Germany - Land of Poets and Plagiarists? Minister of Education Cheated for Doctorate

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BERLIN - Annette Schavan, Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research, cheated for her doctoral degree. The University of Dusseldorf revoked her PhD degree.

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Germany - Land of Poets and Plagiarists?

- Minister of Education Cheated for Doctorate

BERLIN- It's official: Annette Schavan, Federal Minister of Education and Research, cheated for her doctoral degree. The University of Dusseldorf revoked her PhD degree. The only controversial thing seems to be that she hasn't resigned yet; instead she wants to send in the lawyers.

Another heavy blow for Germany's political class after a blue-blooded Karl-Theodor (+14 more forenames) zu Guttenberg, a descendant of the German emperor, resigned as Minister of Defense as the greatest crook and impostor of post-war German politics. This was followed by the Head of State (Mr. President) Christian Wulff who had to resign in disgrace last year over corruption and impropriety accusations. His trophy (second) wife divorced him too. (Now he is probably going to sue me.)

Ironically, Schavan, as the head of German Education for over seven years, traveled the world and lectured tens of thousands of foreign educational policy makers, professors, researchers, and students; yes, also in China, about fairness and intellectual property rights.

All three high officials above were backed by a red-faced but loyal Chancellor Merkel who in each case has "full trust" in the capabilities of her protegees. (To you politics-majors, that's called loyalty and will save your soul.)

With a ruling elite like this, has Germany not deteriorate to one of the most corrupted places in the developed world? Although German-style university education was largely replaced (key word "Bologna Process') and Americanized, with new transparency and a new BA, MA, PhD structure (and study fees, by the way, which is very un-German), yet old boy schools and power structures still remain. Who knows how many of the "political doctorates' are surreptitious.

Exposing the political class may be a byeffect of democracy, needless to say, yet censorship in Germany is still rampant (it's hard to rent or buy un-cut movies or video games; and Youtube users are banned from watching "Gangnam Style', ouch); the three-tier German school system is infringing on freedom to education and human rights (according to the United Nations); and foreigners are simply assimilated (key phrase: "death of German multiculturalism').

The cheer scale of recent political scandals such as "Stuttgart-21" (a rail station development project) to the new "Berlin airport' (delayed a fourth time) is stupefying; and the country's ruling elite has obviously difficulties to justify its permanent dishonesty to an ever disillusioned middle and lower class.

If there is one positive thing to say about all this it is this: citizens have exposed all those political scandals via the internet largely backed by American technology -- and values.

Forget about the Arab spring. Germany is the place where a revolution is overdue.

 

Dr. Thorsten Pattberg, East-West, is a linguist (PhD, Peking University) and the author of 'The East-West dichotomy', 'Shengren', and 'Inside Peking University'. He is also an alumnus of Harvard University, The University of Edinburgh, and The (more...)
 
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