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Polaris of Enlightenment

Monday, June 17, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Norwegian ministers accused of plagiarizing

Published 25 January 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Sandra Borch and Ingvild Kjerkol.

Sandra Borch, minister for research and higher education, resigned after being accused of plagiarizing her master’s thesis. Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol is also under fire for the same reason.

Earlier this year, strong suspicions of judicial disqualification were raised against Erna Solberg, leader of the opposition Conservative Party Høyre, when her husband, Sindre Finnes, was suspected of insider trading. During the summer, the minister for research and higher education, Ola Borten Moe, resigned after pleading guilty to disqualification in connection with stock trading in the Norwegian ammunition manufacturer NAMMO. Less than a month later, the leader of the radical left-wing Rødt party, Bjørnar Moxnes, resigned after being caught shoplifting.

On Friday, the new education minister from the center-right Senterpartiet party, Sandra Borch, announced that she was also leaving her ministerial post after suspicion of plagiarism. This was reported by state broadcaster NRK following an AI-generated investigation by Oslo student Kristoffer Rytterager.

Norwegian Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol has also been accused of plagiarism, but has decided to continue her government duties. In her defense, Kjerkol claims that she and her fellow student did not intentionally omit references in her master’s thesis, and that the parts suspected of plagiarism were not intended to remain in the final result.

– This is the most common excuse for inserting text and then forgetting to remove it. The question then becomes: Why insert other people’s text into the material to ensure quality, instead of just reading the other text, says Norwegian law professor Tarjei Bekkedal at the University of Oslo to the Norwegian Schibsted newspaper VG.

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