Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Probe confirms Japan medical university cut women's test scores

Japan medical university cut women's test scores Japanese Medical School Confirms Changing Exam Scores to Keep Women Out
Jeannette Daniel | 10 August, 2018, 00:42

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.

Tetsuo Yukioka (L), Managing Director of Tokyo Medical University and Keisuke Miyazawa, Vice-President of Tokyo Medical University, bow as they attend a news conference in Tokyo, Japan August 7, 2018. It said that it had believed that was in the best interests of the profession and helped the school to maintain its influence. It deliberately reduced the...

Ten points were added to the scores of men on their fourth try, while no points were added to the scores of women, or to those of male students on their fifth try or more. Usui had arbitrary chosen successful applicants since around 1996 when he was a member of the entrance exam committee, they said.

Some university officials in charge of the entrance exam are believed to have used a manual which describes specific ways to manipulate points to adjust admissions, according to the sources.

The university decided who passed based on the combined scores for the two stages: the computer-graded test in the first stage, and a short essay and interview in the second stage.

The scandal had emerged as investigators looked into claims that the son of an education ministry bureaucrat was elevated on points to just above entry level - despite failing the exam three times.

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One of the lawyers, who had been conducting an internal probe into the university's practice of tampering with examination results and allowing "backdoor" admissions to some students in return for favors, said the practice was discriminatory.

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 university's confession triggered anger among female medical professionals.

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

General female workforce participation, however, is above average in the OECD - around 66% of women were working in 2016.

Yoshiko Maeda, president of the Japan Medical Women's Association, said it is necessary to improve the work environment for female doctors rather than fearing women will leave jobs. The bureaucrat and the former head of the school have been charged with bribery.

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