A Tokyo medical school has apologised after an internal investigation confirmed it altered entrance exam scores for more than a decade to limit the number of female students and ensure more men became doctors. The Guardian reports.
Tokyo Medical University manipulated all entrance exam results starting in 2006 or even earlier, according to findings released by lawyers involved in the investigation, confirming recent reports in Japanese media.
The investigation found that in this year’s entrance exams the school reduced all applicants’ first-stage test scores by 20% and then added at least 20 points for male applicants, except those who had previously failed the test at least four times. It said similar manipulations had occurred for years because the school wanted fewer female doctors since it anticipated they would shorten or halt their careers after becoming mothers.
The report said the manipulation was “profound sexism”, according to lawyer Kenji Nakai. 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.
Nakai said the report only covered the latest exam results because of time constraints, and that further investigation was needed.
Nearly 50% of Japanese women are college educated — one of the world’s highest levels — but they often face discrimination in the workforce. Women also are considered responsible for homemaking, childrearing and elderly care, while men are expected to work long hours and outside care services are limited.
Studies show the share of female doctors who have passed the national medical exam has plateaued at around 30% for more than 20 years, leading some experts to suspect that other medical schools also discriminate against women.
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