Sandra Borch, Norway's minister of research and higher education, resigned on Friday after acknowledging in her master's dissertation that she had plagiarized other students' work—including their mistakes, as reported by a French media agency.
Prior to now, her 2014 text had been compared to other works—most notably, the works of two other students—by the Norwegian media. Not one had appeared in a reference.
A student who made the affair public on the former Twitter platform, X, claimed that Borch had copied an entire paragraph verbatim from another dissertation and left in the typos.
The subject of Borch's 2014 dissertation at Tromso University was oil industry safety laws.
Borch apologized in a press conference
Because Borch chose last week to appeal a student's case to the Supreme Court after she was found not guilty of self-plagiarism for citing parts of her own work, the matter is especially embarrassing for her.
"I made a big mistake," the 35-year-old Borch declared during a hurriedly scheduled press conference, as per media reports. "I borrowed other dissertations' texts without giving credit to the original author. I apologize," she added.
After holding the position of agriculture minister from 2021 to 2023, the deputy of the Centre Party was appointed minister of higher education in the center-left government last year.
Conflicts of interest have led to the resignation of a number of Norwegian government officials in recent months.