Studies and doctorate: Guttenberg and the universities

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The resignation of Guttenberg has sparked the discussion about the value of a doctorate and copying in science. The universities are also jointly responsible - because there are other cases of this kind.

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Here writes for you: Simone Janson is a publisher, German Top20 blogger and HR communication consultant. Profile

Shoe demo


On the 26. February: A curious, relatively spontaneously organized action took place in Berlin: The first shoe demo - and the first demo ever against a single minister. About 500-700 academics came together to demonstrate against the "doctor games" of the former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor von Guttenberg, incidentally, two universities of the Federal Armed Forces.

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The commentary on the video also states: "The most annoying scientists are those at the university, who awarded Herr von Guttenberg the doctoral degree. A process that is usually based on complete mutual trust and requires reliability. That's why this documentary begins and ends with a quote from BR television. "

What are university degrees worth?


Personally, I would not take the universities out of their responsibility. The Süddeutsche Newspaper revealedthat one connected with the minister Company the University of Bayreuth, at the Guttenberg doctorate, has supported. A fact that unfortunately went down a bit in the general indignation and discussion about Guttenberg.

This, however, led me to the consideration, which schindluder is still driven with degrees at German universities. And to the question: What is an academic degree actually worth? So far, in a country where the labor market is more and more focused on the paper in the hand rather than on actual qualifications. Or did Guttenberg devalue the doctor now?

Also on the 26. February: comes an interesting objection by Regine Heidorn. She puts on the side of the association of students of the final degree in question the value of financial statements in general: "I can hardly imagine a better start for the association of the less complete than the plagiarism discussion and the doctor title loss of the German Minister of Defense. Does this excitement fit well with one of our goals, namely to reflect the value of degrees. From that point of view, I like the statement that the Secretary of Defense did not have to get the doctoral degree for his political career. "

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Resignation and reactions


On the 1. March: is it so far: Defense Minister zu Guttenberg are all because of the plagiarism allegations against him to give up his political office. This explained the CSU politician in Berlin.

After the resignation: Guttenberg still has many fans in Germany. The Facebook page "We want Guttenberg back", just started this week, now lists more than 565.000 fans. The arguments, both pro and contra, sums up the following discussion between caller Anja and moderator Holger Klein at the radio station Fritz together (attention, it goes up high ..). Everyone may judge for themselves.

Update: Media strategist Peter Berger and various media announce doubts about the authenticity of the Guttenberg fans. Reason ua The site has more fans than DSDS in nine years. Is it a huge PR gag? Berger also argues that the creator of the site is anonymous - but that has done in the meantime, because it is now known that erotic entrepreneur Tobias Huch is behind it, who also appeared live in flesh and blood at Markus Lanz:

Copy or paste?


The resignation has unimaginable effect, which now shows: He was clearly not the only one by far. Even before Guttenberg was controversial Federal Minister Kristina Schröder:

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Although it has not written off, but apparently made things very simple: First, she wrote about how the values ​​of CDU Bundestag members differ from CDU members at the base.

Schröder and Saß


The questionnaires to the party members questioned by the 1000 sent the CDU's federal center. In addition, Schroder is working as a research assistant for her Ph.D.

The daughter of the former Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber, Veronica Saß, is said to have copied parts of her doctoral thesis from newspapers and Wikipedia - this was collected from the website VroniPlagWiki. Just today, the University of Konstanz announced that she would therefore be denied her doctoral title.



And it goes on: As yesterday, the DPA announced, the CDU regional parliamentary Matthias Pröfrock from Waiblingen (Rems-Murr-Kreis) because of the plagiarism accusations against him his doctorate title for the time being.

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The parliamentarian is accused of having used in numerous parts of his legal dissertation numerous text passages from foreign authors without identification. Uncovered by an unfortunately unspecified Internet site.



And also yesterday it became known that FDP politician Silvana Koch-Mehrin has obviously cheated. The University of Heidelberg The University of Heidelberg has now denied the doctorate and asked them a few days ago to comment.



The accumulation of these cases shows: Cooperative work on the Internet works and produces very effective results. This is great and at the same time a deterrent example for other plagiarists. The case also shows how terribly often is nursed at doctor's offices. Good thing that's revealed.

However, the whole thing has now also something from a media-wielding witch hunt: if Guttenberg tried in vain to speak the matter small, then the consequences are drawn immediately. And also because the universities and politicians are shivering with fear, to come next in the media team.

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For a long time now, lamentation has come!


At the same time, prominent politicians and their relatives (in the case of Veronica Sass) are also gazed out to set examples. Clearly, promotion fraud is not a cavalier offense. However, sudden accumulation of such offenses, three cases in two days, already exaggerated strangely. Especially as the universities had so surely their advantages of the thing had.

There is a danger: Instead of tidying up the swamp, which has been growing for years, you can set some examples for the media - look, we are going to crack down on the cases - and then, when the fuss has subsided, just keep going like before.

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  1. Holger Froese

    The case of Guttenberg & the question of the value of a doctorate: the highlights for the retrospective in picture & sound # education

  2. Holger Froese

    The case of Guttenberg & the question of the value of a promotion: the highlights in the Picture & Sound #Business
    Commented on Twitter

  3. Simone Janson

    Does Guttenberg question the value of academic degrees? What is the responsibility of the universities? Higlights in picture & sound

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