Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Medical school admits manipulating exam results to keep out women

Medical school admits manipulating exam results to keep out women

A university in Tokyo, Japan would have modified the admission scores of its female candidates for several years to limit their number among the students.

The sexist practice was uncovered during another investigation on the same university's ethics, as it is also accused of favoring the son of an influential member of the Ministry of Education by admitting him to the school without the required grades, according to the Japanese paper.

An investigative report by the lawyers also highlighted the fact that the university's former Chairmen Masahiko Usui and former President Mamoru Suzuki were indicted last month by Tokyo prosecutors on bribery charges related to the son of a former education ministry bureau chief being admitted to the school with a padded exam score in exchange for favoritism related to a government subsidy program.

A TOKYO medical school today admitted that entrance test scores for female applicants were routinely altered to keep women out, and apologised for the discrimination, following a probe.

Almost 50 per cent of Japanese women are college educated - one of the world's highest levels - but they often face discrimination in the workforce and are considered responsible for homemaking, childrearing and elderly care, while men are expected to work long hours and outside care services are limited.

Initial reports suggested the practice dated to 2011, but a probe conducted after the reports found the alterations started as early as 2006, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday.

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

"It's extremely disturbing if the university didn't let women pass the exams because they think it's hard to work with female doctors", public broadcaster NHK quoted her saying on Tuesday.

Medical school authorities have called a news conference for 5pm.

The amount of donated money was said to have varied depending on the points added, and money was paid from the successful students' families and others to the university in some cases, according to the source.

"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. Those of all women, and men who had failed the test at least three times, were not, however.

The story has caused outrage in Japan, with women's empowerment minister Seiko Noda calling the practice "disturbing".

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.

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