Japan medical university cut women's test scores

Elias Hubbard
August 10, 2018

The lawyers also said that the university's former Chairman Masahiko Usui, 77, and former President Mamoru Suzuki, 69, had received money from the parents of applicants whose entrance exam scores had been padded.

The allegations surfaced after the medical school came under the scanner for granting admission to the son a top education bureaucrat in exchange of a favour. The findings released Tuesday by lawyers involved in the internal investigation confirm recent reports in Japanese media.

The scores of six applicants including the son of Futoshi Sano, 59, a former senior education ministry official, were inflated by up to 49 marks in this year's primary exam with a maximum score of 400, the sources said.

A major score-rigging scandal has engulfed one of Tokyo's medical schools, with an investigation revealing the university deliberately marked down all female applicants to limit the number of women studying at the school.

The practice had reportedly been going on for more than a decade.

But they maintained they were unaware of the manipulation.

In Japan, women are highly educated, but the intensity of work habits, which can lead to deaths due to overwork, often leads women to stop their careers when they start a family.

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

"Factors suggesting very serious discrimination against women was also part of it", added Nakai, one of the external lawyers hired by the university to investigate the incident.

The investigation showed that the scores of men, including those reappearing after failing once or twice, were raised, while those of all women, and men who had failed the test at least three times, were not.

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

But many others were the children of Tokyo Medical University alumni, according to the sources.

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.

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

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 Click Lancashire

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