Japanese med school admits it changed exam scores to keep women out

Lester Mason
August 10, 2018

The report said that scores of female applicants were slashed by about 10 per cent.

University vice president Keisuka Miyazawa said such alterations "should never happen" and pledged that next year's exams would be fair.

They were charged with allowing the son of a former top education ministry official to be admitted to the school illegally in exchange for favouritism in connection with a government subsidy program.

The entrance exam bias came to light in the course of an internal investigation by the university's lawyers in the wake of the bribery scandal.

The lawyers also attested that all entrance examination scores for women were deducted, as ordered by Usui and with the knowledge of Suzuki and another senior official at another renown university, to prevent a shortage of doctors at the university's affiliated hospitals.

The lawyers said they did not know how many women had been affected, but it appeared that women's test scores had been affected going back at least a decade.

The school said the manipulation should not have occurred and would not in the future.

Almost 50% of Japanese women are college educated - one of the world's highest levels - but they often face discrimination in the workforce.


"This incident is really regrettable - by deceptive recruitment procedures, they sought to delude the test takers, their families, school officials and society as a whole", lawyer Kenji Nakai told a news conference.

The university also disliked accepting male applicants who had failed a number of times because they also tend to fail the national exam for medical practitioners, which would bring down the university's ratio of successful applicants and hurt its reputation, according to the sources.

"The world's getting more equal than in the past, but we are still looked down upon as women", university student Yumi Matsuda said.

Entrance exam discrimination against women was "absolutely unacceptable", Education Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters last week, however.

"Women often quit after graduating and becoming a doctor, when they get married and have a child", one source told the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper last week.

Tokyo Medical University acknowledged that it had been making it harder for women to attend since 2006 in a deliberate effort to ensure that most of those matriculating were men.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made "womenomics" - or boosting women's participation in the workplace and promoting women to senior positions - a priority, but the pace of progress has been slow.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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