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43 percent text similarity in Kjerkol’s master’s thesis

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Health and care minister Ingvild Kjerkol (Ap) resigned on Friday after it became known that her master’s thesis in health management was rejected for cheating. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB

Of NTB | 12.04.2024 19:23:22

Education: In the first plagiarism check when the thesis was submitted in the autumn of 2021, 19 percent text overlap was detected across 245 different text blocks.

It appears in the decision of the appeal board at Nord University, which TV 2 published on Friday evening. Also NRK has access to the whole the twelve-page decision.

“The plagiarism has manifested itself in the form of direct copying or lighter rewriting without source references. Cheating in the form of plagiarism on a scale such as here cannot have occurred without the author’s knowledge of the act as a whole. Although the tribunal can agree that in some cases it may be possible to lose track of the sources, this cannot be applied to as many hits as the tribunal has shown. The board for student affairs has thus come to the conclusion that Kjerkol has deliberately cheated,” the decision states.

Kjerkol stated in a clarification meeting with Nord University ahead of the decision that “it would be a high risk for her to cheat and that she would never do it”, the report says.

The master’s thesis, with the theme “Management in a digitized home service” was originally assessed at grade B, but the grade was adjusted to A after an oral exam.

Through media reports in January this year, Nord University became aware of possible plagiarism in Kjerkols, which led to further investigations into the allegations.

On Thursday, it became known that the master’s thesis Kjerkol wrote together with a fellow student was rejected. The appeals board at Nord University believes that Kjerkol has intentionally cheated. On Friday, Kjerkol resigned as Minister of Health and Welfare.

Kjerkol’s education was experience-based and part-time, and she completed her studies from spring 2019 to autumn 2021.

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