Romanian education minister resigns after another plagiarism scandal

The former education minister said he was honoured to have started the reforms in the education system and lists some of the changes announced as part of a wider project, “Educated Romania,” the national policy championed by President Klaus Iohannis. [EPA/ROBERT GHEMENT]

Romania’s now-former education minister Sorin Cimpeanu resigned Thursday, a few days after he was accused of plagiarising a university course, an accusation he ridiculed in online posts.

The former education minister said he was honoured to have started the reforms in the education system and lists some of the changes announced as part of a wider project, “Educated Romania,” the national policy championed by President Klaus Iohannis.

He did not say anything about the accusation, nor did he mention his plans to change education laws so that academic fraud will be more difficult to punish.

Independent media channel PressOne reported that Cimpeanu copied in a university course the works of other professors from the Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine University in Bucharest.

Initially, Cimpeanu said the objective of those who published the report was to block the education law debates. Then he said that people who were asking for his resignation following the disclosure of his plagiarism are “dopey.”

Iohannis, who in the past was a fierce critic of politicians accused of plagiarism, was pretty silent regarding the case of Cimpeanu, who benefitted from the president’s support. As Ciuca is also accused of plagiarising part of his PhD thesis, Iohannis lowered his criticisms over the past months, switching to more general comments regarding academic procedures.

Plagiarism, generally in PhD theses, is a significant issue among politicians across the whole political spectrum. For example, no less than seven of the 24 education ministers in the post-communist era were accused of plagiarising various scientific works. Cimpeanu is just the second of them to resign.

(Bogdan Neagu | EURACTIV.ro)

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