Lingnan's vice-president quits amid plagiarism claims

Lingnan's vice-president quits amid plagiarism claims

Herdip Singh, vice-president of the university, has been accused of copying his doctoral dissertation, and a panel is checking out the claims


Herdip Singh(R) will remain associate vice-president of Lingnan University while the investigation is carried out.
Photo:May Tse/SCMP

[UPDATE - Nov 16, 12pm]

Dr Herdip Singh, Lingnan University's vice-president and comptroller, resigned with immediate effect on Saturday, a day after he was told he would be suspended pending an investigation. There were claims that he fast-tracked his doctoral dissertation from a university in the Philippines. 

"Regarding recent reports on my doctoral degree, I regret that I have erred in my judgment," Singh said in a statement. He did not specify what his error or judgement was though.

The committee set up to investigate the plagiarism claim said it was no longer looking into the case.

Lingnan University announced on Wednesday it has formed a panel to investigate an allegation that its associate vice-president Herdip Singh plagiarised his doctoral dissertation. Meanwhile, a news report said a university council member allegedly helped Singh fast-track and get his doctorate degree.

Council member Alex Lee Ye-lick refused to comment on an allegation that he had helped Singh obtain his doctorate degree from Tarlac State University in the Philippines in just a year through his company Lifelong College. However, Lee said the college would internally investigate the matter.

A Lingnan spokeswoman said Singh would for now remain in his post as the investigation continues.

But Lingnan University students' union president Philip Lau Chun-lam told Young Post that Singh should be suspended until the investigation is over. "If the allegation against Singh proves correct, it will set a bad example and he'll be unable to lead the university," said Lau.

Danny Kwok Man-wai, a student at the university, agrees. "The university stresses students shouldn't plagiarise, or we will be severely punished and risk losing our degrees. And since Singh is now our associate vice-president, he should be our role model," said Kwok.

The panel investigating the allegation against Singh comprises a chairman - Jesus Seade, chair professor of the university's department of economics - and two other professors.

Lau said the panel should not just be made up of people who work for Lingnan, as university staff would be more lenient towards their colleagues and less likely to expose plagiarism and damage the institution's reputation.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Lingnan to investigate plagiarism scandal


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