Norwegian minister resigns after being caught plagiarizing academic work

Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol second Norwegian politician to step down in 2024 on plagiarism allegations

13:27 - 13/04/2024 Saturday
File photo
File photo

Norway's Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol resigned Friday after she was stripped of her master's thesis in Health Management by a Norwegian university, according to media reports.

The health minister is the second Norwegian politician to step down in 2024 for plagiarism allegations after Minister for Research and Higher Education Sandra Borch resigned in January for plagiarism in her academic work.

"To continue as health minister, I have to be a trusted person. I will resign from this fantastic job," Kjerkhol, from the Labor Party, told reporters at an Oslo news conference.

The politician decided to leave her post one day after Nord University in Bodo published the results of a probe that found a not insignificant amount of plagiarism which was intentional and co-authored by another university student.

In a joint news conference with Kjerkolis, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said it would have been hard for the health minister to continue and he made a decision that “Kjerkol should resign from the position,” according to the Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten.

Since last August, four Norwegian ministers have been dismissed or resigned because of plagiarism or inside trading.

In September, the husband of then-Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt had been accused of trading in stocks for years after he allegedly bought stocks of defense and fishery companies.

That led to Huitfeld's resignation in October.

Historically, much more severe wrongdoings have led to high-profile dismissals such as sexual assault accusations, domestic violence or racism, however, in 2024, politicians seem to be increasingly faced with accusations of plagiarism in their academic work.

In September 2025, Norway will be holding parliamentary elections, which, according to many analysts, could lead to Conservatives seizing control of the government after losses in 2021 due to scandals surrounding Labour-dominated leadership.

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