Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Can One Earn a PhD from LSE without a Thesis? The Bizarre Story of President Tsai

Lin, Hwan C. (2019): Can One Earn a PhD from LSE without a Thesis? The Bizarre Story of President Tsai.

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This is an independent investigation by a Taiwanese-American scholar, spanning a period of three months. It was inspired by Taiwanese people’s deepened worries about whether Taiwan’s President Ing-wen Tsai was truly awarded a PhD in law 35 years ago (1984) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). It proceeded with difficulties, such as information asymmetries and data protection of personal data. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of the United Kingdom was helpful to some extent, however. The investigator contacted numerous university staff from the libraries, Diploma Production Office, and Data Protection and Compliance, among others. The investigator also flew to the U.K. this August, visiting the LSE Library for reviewing the mysterious, tardy doctoral thesis that President Tsai submitted recently (June 2019). The report concludes that President Tsai was not awarded a doctoral degree in 1984 and that she was at best a doctoral candidate without passing an oral examination at that time. However, recently, LSE unduly endorsed Tsai’s doctoral degree by issuing an unwarranted statement on October 8, reminiscent of the Gaddafi scandal that just happened about a decade ago.

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