Borch’s admission came after the minister previously sought to punish students for self-plagiarism. A student fought a charge of academic misconduct for plagiarizing their own work and was acquitted in a lower court, but Borch took the case all the way to the Supreme Court of Norway to appeal the verdict, arguing it was “important for all students, universities and colleges in Norway that the regulations for cheating, and their enforcement, are easy to understand.”
A business student from Oslo, who said he was angry at the minister’s decision to clamp down on self-plagiarism, posted detailed plagiarism allegations about Borch’s thesis on X, including spelling mistakes she allegedly copied from others’ work.
According to Norwegian outlet E24, over 20 percent of Borch’s thesis, completed in 2014 at the University of Tromsø, was lifted from six other student papers.
Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said Borch’s actions were “not compatible with the trust that is necessary to be minister of research and higher education.”
On Tuesday, Borch handed her duties over to Oddmund Løkensgard Hoel — who promised he had not plagiarized his own thesis.
However, Minister of Health and Care Services Ingvild Kjerkol has now also been accused of plagiarizing her thesis, which she completed in 2021. She told local media it “should not have happened” but said it was an honest mistake and denied any deliberate wrongdoing. The prime minister has backed her and said it is a matter for the university.
In a statement to local media, Nord University, where Kjerkol received her degree, said it is investigating.