And finally… copycat crime

A government minister who took students to court for ‘plagiarising’ their own work has resigned after it emerged she plagiarised parts of her master’s thesis.

Sandra Borch, Norway’s minister for research and higher education, left government immediately following the revelations.

She was exposed by 27-year-old Kristoffer Rytterager, who was angry about Borch’s legal crackdown on students committing ‘self-plagiarism’ – the practice of re-using sections of one’s own previous work.

The lower courts had acquitted the students but Borch had appealed to the Supreme Court when Rytterager discovered that she had committed traditional plagiarism by copying tracts of her thesis from the work of others.

“When I wrote my master’s thesis around 10 years ago I made a big mistake,” Borch told Norwegian news agency NTB. “I took text from other assignments without stating the sources.”

The news has caused a media “feeding frenzy” of politicians’ academic backgrounds.

“I feel like the media are out for blood and are checking everyone,” Rytterager said. “I am afraid that in the future we may not have politicians that have ever taken a risk in their lives because they are afraid to get dragged through the dirt.”

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