Professor at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade Dana Popovic said that claims by three scientists from universities in Britain, that the dissertation of the Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic is plagiarism, are accurate, Serbian Daily “Blic” reports.
Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham Ugljesa Grusic, associate professor at the University of East London Branislav Radeljic and PhD candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science Slobodan Tomic, in an article published on June 1 at the website “Pescanik”, stated that Stefanovic’s doctorate dissertation is plagiarism.
In an Op-Ed in Serbian Daily “Politika”, Dana Popovic said that she read Stefanovic’s work, which as of yesterday can be found on the internet.
“All allegations of plagiarism are correct. Turn to page 14 of the document and you can easily recognize text from Page 94 of the manual ‘Decentralisation as a starting point for further development of Serbia’ written in 2006. On page 59 you will see the last paragraph which can be found on page 468 of publication ‘Management for sustainable development’ published in 2012,” said Dana Popovic.
She pointed out that she checked all parts of doctorate dissertation and concluded that “academics are right, it is plagiarism.”
Commenting on the statement of the Rector of Megatrend University Mica Jovanovic that Stefanovic conducted a study on 200 subjects, Dana Popovic said that this does not exist in a doctorate.
Megatrend : Absolutely authentic work of the Minister Stefanovic
Rector of Megatrend Mica Jovanovic said that the dissertation of the Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic is “absolutely authentic scientific work.”
Commenting on an article about plagiarism by Nebojsa Stefanovic, Jovanovic said that the portal “Pescanik” published an opinion of “so-called experts” who “deliberately mislead the public” and said that the university will consider filing criminal charges against the authors of the article.
“We do not intend to determine whether it is plagiarism or not, since it was already established before Stefanovic defended dissertation,” Jovanovic said, adding that the commission will be formed to deal with the “defense of Megatrend University and Nebojsa Stefanovic.”
Controversies have swirled for years around Megatrend, which offers degrees in everything from media to economics and has campuses across Serbia.
When Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the late Libyan leader, was granted an honorary doctorate in 2007, Srbijanka Turajlic — the then deputy minister for higher education — was quoted as saying, “This is not something this university should be proud of.”
But considering “the quality of the university,” she added, “it is not surprising that it awarded a doctorate to a dictator.”
Mihajlovic: I hope Stefanovic respected the code of ethics
Scholars should respect the code of ethics and I hope that Nebojsa Stefanovic, Minister of the Interior, also respected it, said the Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic.
She said that she saw the media reports on the alleged plagiarism dissertation of Minister Stefanovic, but she believes that he is “a responsible person”.
“The quality of the lectures given at Megatrend University is good, and I say that because I know people who work there. I do not want to believe that diplomas in Serbia are easy to buy, because I worked hard to earn mine,” said Mihajlovic.
Zorana Mihajlovic is Deputy Prime Minister of Serbian Government and also a professor at the Megatrend University. Along with Nebojsa Stefanovic she is a member of Vucic’s ruling party SNS.
History of SNS and Faculty “issues”
In April 2012, Spokesperson of the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV) Aleksandra Jerkov requested from [now President of Serbia] Tomislav Nikolic to explain where he graduated from , because the public has the right to know.
She said she received a telephone response from a private University in Novi Sad, and that they claimed that Nikolic has not graduated there, although such information is listed in his official biography published on the website of SNS.
After Zorana Mihajlovic publicly showed Nikolic’s degree, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Management (FAM) Zoran Savic said that [at that time] President of the SNS Tomislav Nikolic has graduated from a private university in Novi Sad in 2006, in the Department of Management at the basic studies.
SNS at that time announced that they will file a lawsuit against Aleksandra Jerkov “for insulting the honor and reputation of Tomislav Nikolic” and they will “seek compensation of RSD 2 million.”