Kollar Accused of Plagiarising His Master’s Thesis

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Parliamentary Chair and 'We Are Family' party leader Boris Kollar at a session of Parliament on April 22, 2020 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, June 23 (TASR) – Reacting to ex-MP Miroslav Beblavy’s claim that the bachelor’s thesis of We Are Family MP Petra Kristufkova is a result of plagiarism, We Are Family head and Parliamentary Chair Boris Kollar stated on Tuesday that every university sets its own conditions for what individual theses should contain and that he’s of the opinion that Kristufkova’s thesis is fine, based on his glimpse at the work.

Kollar told Beblavy and the extra-parliamentary Together party, which also pointed to Kristufkova’s and Kollar’s thesis on the same day, that the education system needs to be respected and if they want to change the it, they should make it into Parliament and the Government so that they can manage the Education Ministry. [Beblavy led the Together party in the recent general election, but decided to step down as party head and retire from politics after his party failed to make it into Parliament in a coalition with the Progressive Slovakia party – ed. note]

Meanwhile, daily Dennik N daily reported on the same day that Kollar also resorted to plagiarism when writing his master’s thesis, which he, just like Kristufkova, successfully defended at the University of Central Europe in Skalica (Trnava region). According to the daily, Kollar copy-pasted several pages from a work of his thesis supervisor, who deemed Kollar’s work appropriate and allowed him to obtain a master’s degree in 2015.

Kollar rejected the claim that his work is a result of plagiarism, pointing to the plagiarism checker results his thesis achieved [a 24.45-percent match with other works – ed. note] and the notes citing the used sources.

“[The university’s] internal guidelines state that theses matching other works up to 30 percent are standard practice, that they are acceptable,” stated Kollar. The parliamentary chair also rejected claims that he didn’t cite his sources sufficiently. When asked why he didn’t cite the passages he took from his supervisor, Kollar replied that he might have committed a mistake. At the same time, Kollar declared he wrote the thesis on his own.
Nevertheless, Kollar stated that he doesn’t see a reason to step down as House chair due to the case.