According to China Daily a former Peking University student has filed a law suit against the University after her postgraduate degree was revoked on the charge of plagiarism.
The report said the woman who is surnamed Yu has declared that the University’s action was unwarranted and without merit.
The report further said university officials have claimed that Yu, who graduated in July 2013, plagiarized her doctoral thesis.
The 36-year-old former student, however, has denied the allegations.
A spokesperson from the university reportedly said, “As a rigorous academic institute we cannot bear plagiarism.”
The report further stated that Yu, who holds a doctoral degree from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, maintained her innocence and pointed to the fact that her thesis was published 18 days after she graduated from the university.
Yu is said to call the move to rescind her degree “unreasonable”.
In the meantime, Yi Xifeng, the lawyer who is representing the aggrieved former student noted that the university had taken the step to release its decision to the media before informing his client.
It has “caused great damage to her,” the lawyer reportedly said.
The lawyer also charged that the university made its decision based on negative effects on its reputation, rather than on whether the thesis was plagiarized.
However, the spokesperson for the university argued that the university policy dictates that it withdraws a degree on the evidence of plagiarism found.
“No matter whether a thesis is identified as a reference to grant a degree, the university can make such a decision if it finds plagiarism.”
At the same time, the report noted that the former student has found the issue worrying.
“I am passionate about academic studies,” she reportedly said.
“But now I have to squeeze time in to study and make living translating documents for some private companies,” she continued.
All parties concerned now await the ruling which is scheduled to be handed down by the Beijing Haidian District People’s Court at a later date.
Editing by Jesus Chan
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