Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Tokyo medical university admits tampering with exams to limit enrollment of females

Tokyo medical university admits tampering with exams to limit enrollment of females

The school said the manipulation should not have occurred and would not in the future, and it will consider retroactively admitting those who otherwise would have passed the exams.

Japanese media last week reported that the university had for years been lowering the scores of female applicants in order to keep the ratio of women in the school at 30 per cent or lower.

A medical university in Tokyo admitted Tuesday it had a practice of deducting entrance exam marks to curb the enrollment of any women as well as men who failed the exam many times, while promising to "root out" the score-rigging dating back to at least 12 years ago.

The scandal was uncovered by investigators looking into claims the university padded the scores of an education ministry bureaucrat's son to help him gain admission, and local media said other instances had been discovered where individual entrance test scores were revised upwards, suggesting favouritism. The bureaucrat and the former head of the school have been charged with bribery.

The university then added points to male applicants who were taking the exam within three years of graduating high school, however, no points were given to female applicants doing the same, Bloomberg reports.

Japan's gender equality minister Seiko Noda said: "It is extremely regrettable if medical schools share a view that having female doctors work at hospitals is troublesome".

The manipulation was "nothing but discrimination against women", said one of the lawyers hired by the university to investigate the alterations, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday.

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An investigation by the university's in-house lawyers concluded the official's son had his score boosted by up to 49 points.

Nakai said the report only covered the latest exam results because of time constraints, and that further investigation was needed.

Medical school director Tetsuo Yukioka apologized Tuesday for "betraying public trust", saying women should "not be treated differently due to their gender".

Mr Yukioka said women were not treated differently once they were accepted, but acknowledged that some people even believed women were not allowed to become surgeons.

Education Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters that he plans to examine the entrance procedures of all medical schools.

The university's admission of discriminatory practices has drawn a harsh backlash from the medical community in Japan including representatives from the the Japan Joint Association of Medical Professional Women and the Japan Medical Women's Association.

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