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Ukraine's newly-appointed Education Minister renounces his academic title after scandal

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 30, 2023 1:26 PM 1 min read
Education Minister Oksen Lisovyi. (Photo: Facebook)
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Education Minister Oksen Lisovyi said on May 30 that he had formally renounced his academic title, an announcement which comes after the newly-appointed minister faced accusations of academic plagiarism.

According to Lisovyi, the Ukrainian government has officially "approved a mechanism for the voluntary renunciation of an (advanced) academic degree," which did not exist beforehand.

"In the academic world, an academic degree represents value, trust, and achievement, rather than a mere acquisition. The post-Soviet culture has somewhat distorted this concept, so we need to correct it and establish a new culture of academic integrity," Lisovyi explained.

On March 23, Lisovyi announced that he had submitted a proposal to the Ukrainian government to implement such changes in the regulatory framework.

Lisovyi went on to say that he "personally tested and experienced the renunciation mechanism" himself and after writing a statement no longer held a Candidate of Sciences degree.

In Ukraine, the Candidate of Sciences ("Kandidat Nauk") degree is roughly the equivalent of a research-driven doctoral degree in the West. Those who hold a Candidate of Sciences degree can potentially receive financial benefits from the state for their academic achievements based on factors such as their position and affiliated institution.

The announcement comes after Lisovyi submitted his dissertation to the National Agency for Quality Assurance of Higher Education for review on March 23, amid earlier allegations of plagiarism surrounding his academic research.

At that time, Lisovyi wrote if the agency determined any instances of plagiarism in his work, he would share their findings and willingly renounce his academic title. However, Lisovyi did not provide any new information regarding the investigation in his latest update.

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