Bettel thesis investigation to take weeks

Prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) faces accusations of plagiarism Library photo: Anthony Dehez

Prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) faces accusations of plagiarism Library photo: Anthony Dehez

The University of Nancy has said it could take until the end of this year or early next year for results of an investigation into plagiarism against former student Xavier Bettel to come through.

Luxembourg’s prime minister in October faced accusations of plagiarism after media outlet Reporter analysed his 56-page dissertation, which he submitted for his postgraduate degree, a French “Diplôme d'études approfondies”.

Bettel (DP) has said he has “full confidence in the University of Nancy to assess whether the work in question meets the criteria of the time.” He has not commented on what he intends to do should the investigation confirm the plagiarism claims.

But the investigation could take weeks, the university has now confirmed to Reporter. Work won’t being until mid-November a spokesperson said, with the outcome to be known shortly before or after the end of year holidays.

Three experts have been tasked with investigating the matter and determine the academic merit of the document. Reporter had found that around 96% of the thesis has been copied without proper sourcing.

Bettel’s thesis supervisor, Professor Etienne Criqui, previously said he does not rule out plagiarism and that digital means of detection as they exist today weren’t around at the time.

Professor David Howarth of the University of Luxembourg in an interview with Delano said that the prime minister should resign over the scandal.

“He could have opted not to complete his graduate degree at the University of Nancy and, rather, focus on his budding political career in Luxembourg,” he said. “However, he wanted to do both. That was an unwise decision. He wanted the academic credibility that the completion of his graduate degree bestowed yet he was not willing to undertake the necessary work to merit that credibility.”