Romania's ex-prime minister Ponta cheated
The doctorate submitted by former Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta was plagiarised, the commission appointed by the Romanian Council for Attesting Titles, Diplomas and Certificates ruled on Thursday after a four-year review. Commentators welcome the decision and call for stringent academic controls to restore the universities' reputation.
Modern era is dawning in Romania
Even if the review took years to complete the result is a significant step towards modernising the country, poet and essayist Radu Vancu writes on the blog Contributors.ro:
“Modernisation is advancing at a speed we find disappointing, but which is in fact quite fast from a historical point of view. And say what you will: it is taking place. ... The current developments have to do with one of the small decisions that from time to time shed light on what is otherwise the abstract and subtle process of modernisation. ... Things that you could hardly imagine four or ten years ago are now normal. When gloom and depression once again threaten to bring you down, when the acid of melancholy burns too deep, then just remember this plagiarism episode - and see it as a concrete sign of modernisation. Because that's what it is.”
Review all doctorates now
To avoid a situation in which all the country's universities are suspected of cheating, literature professor Mircea Morariu calls in his blog in the daily Adevărul for strict controls of all the papers submitted in recent years:
“All the faculties across the country that award doctoral degrees must be subjected to rigorous checks as soon as possible - and all the doctorates and post-doctoral diplomas awarded in the past two to three years after summary defences and minimal assessment must be subject to particular scrutiny. ... We must not forget for a moment that in the case of [former prime minister] Ponta, the very concept of the university was seriously damaged over four years. His accomplices included several ministers and a ministry, as well as politically compliant professors who were given cushy jobs in exchange for their lies and guilty silence.”