University strips German education minister of doctorate after probe into alleged plagiarism

Germany's education minister has been stripped of her doctorate following an investigation into allegations that she plagiarized parts of her thesis, which explored the formation of conscience.

German news agency dpa reports that a committee of academics at Duesseldorf's Heinrich Heine University took the decision late Tuesday after considering the case against Annette Schavan.

Schavan denies the allegations, first raised by an anonymous blogger last year, that she failed to properly cite passages of her 1980 thesis in philosophy.

The minister is a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Former defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, resigned from his post in 2011 after it emerged he copied large parts of his doctoral thesis.