Germany's education minister defied calls for her resignation Wednesday after a university stripped her of her doctorate upon
concluding she had plagiarized parts of her thesis.
Allegations that Annette Schavan had lifted parts of her 1980 thesis have dogged her for months. The University of Dusseldorf announced Tuesday night that an internal probe had determined the minister had “systematically and deliberately” used uncredited work that was not her own.
A faculty council voted to invalidate the doctorate. Schavan, who maintains the claims are unfounded, said she would fight the decision in court and told reporters Wednesday in Johannesburg that she did not plan to step down, the German Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.
The scandal swirling around Schavan is a headache for the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who counts the education minister as a close ally. National elections are scheduled in the fall and Merkel's coalition narrowly lost a major state election a few weeks ago.