In Serbia, many have obtained degrees of higher education through bribery or other connections. Such degrees are particularly popular amongst politicians and party officials. Therefore, as citizens as well as academics, the three of us have decided to conduct a detailed analysis of some possibly problematic degrees earned by some of Serbia’s top public figures. We’ll start with the most glaring and recent example – Dr Nebojša Stefanović, former President of the National Assembly of Serbia and now Minister of Internal Affairs.The authors wondered, how Stefanović was able to write a dissertation in a short time while president of the national assembly. They investigated – and found plagiarism. Lots of it.
Premier Aleksandar Vučić rushed to his defense, according to the Austrian daily newspaper Die Presse. The accusations were the most stupid ones he had ever heard. And since he himself has a doctorate with the best grade in law, he was in a position to judge. Stefanović's advisor, Mića Jovanović who is Rector of the private Megatrend University in Belgrade, also chimed in in defense of Stefanović. [This university, by the way, has been accused of being a diploma mill, as the New York Times reported, and has also awarded an honorary doctorate to dictator Muammar Gaddafi.]
Peščanik quickly suffered a "hacker attack," Die Presse notes [more probably, their web server was not able to survive the number of requests from the curious]. When they returned online, they reported that they wanted to investigate one of Jovanović's two dissertations, the one supposedly granted from the University of London. Unfortunately, the thesis cannot be found. They even asked his advisor, Stephan Wood, how they could obtain a copy. Wood stated that Jovanović had studied at the London School of Economics and submitted a dissertation, but that the viva had been failed and thus the thesis had been returned to the author for major revisions. A revised version was never submitted, and thus Jovanović does not have a doctoral degree from the LSE.
Jovanović called this all a pack of lies, and has posted a picture of the title page of his dissertation on a web page of the university. Balkanist notes, according to Die Presse, that this only proves that he wrote a dissertation, not that he has a doctorate. The topics of both dissertations, the one purportedly from LSE and the second one, submitted to the Serbian University of Maribor, are essentially on the same topic. They offer, should he have lost his doctoral diploma, to obtain a new copy at their own expense. Jovanović need only give them a power of attorney.