Annette Schavan

Annette Schavan
Federal Minister of Education and Research
In office
22 November 2005  14 February 2013
Preceded by Edelgard Bulmahn
Succeeded by Johanna Wanka
Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of Baden-Württemberg
In office
19 July 1995  5 October 2005
Preceded by Marianne Schultz-Hector
Succeeded by Helmut Rau
Personal details
Born (1955-06-10) 10 June 1955
Jüchen, Germany
Nationality  Germany
Political party Christian Democratic Union (CDU)
Alma mater University of Bonn
University of Düsseldorf
Profession Theologian
Religion Roman Catholic

 Annette Schavan  (born 10 June 1955) is a German politician (CDU). She was the Federal Minister of Education and Research from 2005 to 2013, when she resigned following the revocation of her doctorate due to plagiarism. She currently serves as the German ambassador to the Holy See.

Early life

Schavan was born in Jüchen on 10 June 1955.


From 1995-2005, Schavan served as the minister of culture, youth, and sports for the German state of Baden-Württemberg. During this time, she oversaw school education in Baden-Württemberg. One controversy that erupted during this time was when a Muslim teacher was banned from wearing a head scarf in school, as that was interpreted as a religious symbol, while at the same time allowing Catholic nuns to wear their traditional habits. The argument was that the habits of nuns and monks have an official function, while a Muslim headscarf is optional.

Schavan was regarded as a possible Christian Democratic candidate for Germany's presidency in 2004, but Horst Köhler was nominated and elected instead. In 2005, she attempted to succeed Erwin Teufel as Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, but she was defeated by her rival Günther Oettinger in the internal elections of the CDU.

Schavan served as federal minister for education from 2005 to February 2013. She was succeeded by Johanna Wanka.[1]


In 2012, a blogger with the pseudonym Robert Schmidt who is a member of the research-network VroniPlag Wiki alleged he had found plagiarism in Schavan's PhD thesis,[2] entitled "Character and conscience — Studies on the conditions, necessities, and demands on the development of conscience in the present day."[3][4] The University of Düsseldorf conducted an investigation into the plagiarism charge. Investigators found paraphrasing of secondary literature without naming the source in over 60 cases in the dissertation and thereby on 5 February 2013 revoked her doctorate degree because of “systematic and premeditated” deception.[5][6]

On 9 February 2013, it was announced that Annette Schavan had offered to resign as minister, which was accepted by chancellor Angela Merkel. Schavan has denied any wrongdoing and indicated she would take legal action against the university.[7]


In 2006, she received the Else Mayer Award.


  1. "Merkel Loses Minister: Schavan Steps Down amid Plagiarism Scandal". Der Spiegel. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  2. "Schavanplag". Schavanplag. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  3. Vogel, Gretchen (May 2012). "German Research Minister Faces Plagiarism Allegations". ScienceInsider. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  4. Christoph Titz: Anonymous Schavan-accuser: „I don't want this evidence to be suppressed“. In: Spiegel Online. 5. Mai 2012. (ger.)
  5. "Education minister loses doctorate for plagiarism". The Local. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  6. Jörg Diehl & Oliver Trenkamp (6 February 2013). "Plagiarism Accusations: Merkel's Education Minister Has Ph.D. Title Revoked". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  7. German education minister quits over PhD plagiarism The Guardian, 9 February 2013

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Annette Schavan.
Wikinews has related news: German education minister stripped of PhD for plagiarism


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