Taiwan university to revoke KMT mayoral candidate's master's degree over plagiarism allegations

Committee found high degree of similarity between Lee's thesis, other works: National Sun Yat-sen University

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KMT candidate Lee Mei-jhen (third from right) on the night of her defeat (Aug. 15).

KMT candidate Lee Mei-jhen (third from right) on the night of her defeat (Aug. 15). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kaohsiung's National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) will revoke the master’s degree held by unsuccessful Kuomintang (KMT) mayoral candidate Lee Mei-jhen (李眉蓁) due to its similarity to others' work, reports said Wednesday (Aug. 19).

Allegations of plagiarism dogged Lee all through the campaign, which ended with her losing the Aug. 15 by-election to former Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who received 70 percent of the vote.

The university committee which investigated the allegations found a large degree of similarity between her 2008 thesis about trade relations between Taiwan and China and text from another master’s paper and a speech by a prominent academic, CNA reported.

As a result, the Kaohsiung university announced the findings were sufficient grounds to take away Lee’s master’s degree. The politician said she accepted the college’s decision, adding that she had not attended a defense of her case during the campaign since she had already announced she was abandoning her degree.

The by-election was held to find a successor for the southern city’s KMT mayor, Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who lost a June 6 recall vote by a wide margin. Since 1998, no other KMT politician has held the position.