Tokyo Medical School Apologises For Altering Tests To Keep Women Out

10 August, 2018, 00:39 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Japan medical university cut women's test scores

A Tokyo medical school on Tuesday admitted entrance test scores for female applicants were routinely altered to keep women out and apologised for the discrimination after a probe.

Lawyers investigating bribery accusations in the admission of the son of a senior education ministry official said they concluded that his score and that of several other men were boosted "unfairly" - some by as much as 49 points.

Masahiko Usui, 77, a former chairman of the university's board of regents, said during the school's internal investigation that he did so to "increase donations to the school".

The investigation found that in this year's entrance exams the school reduced all applicants' first-stage test scores by 20 per cent and then added at least 20 points for male applicants, except those who had previously failed the test at least four times.

Investigators said the school had wanted fewer female medical graduates, arguing potential motherhood would shorten or halt their careers.

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' report is expected to be released on Tuesday afternoon. He said the investigation also suggested that the school's former director took money from some parents who sought preferential treatment for their sons and that the manipulation was part of a deep-rooted culture that lacked fairness and transparency.

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"We deeply apologise for having inconvenienced and caused so many people pain with such a serious scandal", university director Tetsuo Yukioka said.

Mr Yukioka, who denied any prior knowledge of wrongdoing, added: "I suspect that there was a lack of sensitivity to the rules of modern society, in which women should not be treated differently due to their gender".

Studies have shown that the share of female doctors passing Japan's national medical exam has remained at about 30% for around 20 years.

In addition, they confirmed the practice of subtracting exam points for all women, as well as for men who were taking the test for at least the fourth time.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan's education minister, said that he will launch an immediate probe into all universities in Japan with a medical department to ensure such examination score tampering is not occurring.

This story has been corrected to say the manipulation started in 2006 or earlier, instead of 2000.

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