A prestigious Japanese medical school has confessed to systematically rigging its entrance exams against women, in a scandal which has highlighted the nation’s deep problem with gender discrimination.
An internal investigation found which Tokyo Medical University had for more than a decade subtracted marks through female applicants in a deliberate effort to produce more male doctors, as well as also also falsified exams to help specific individuals.
The revelations have shocked the nation as well as also also turned a spotlight on several different Japanese universities which admit a suspiciously modest number of women.
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They show an ingrained culture of sexism in Japan, which can be stuck at 114 out of 144 on the globe Economic Forum’s rankings of gender inequality, despite frequent boasts through Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about his programme of “womenomics” aimed at boosting female participation inside the workplace.
The manipulation at Tokyo Medical only came to light after prosecutors began a corruption investigation against university officials for allegedly admitting the son of a senior bureaucrat in return for government grants to the university.
“We have caused a great amount of trouble to everyone as well as also also betrayed the trust of society,” said Tetsuo Yukioka, managing director of the university. “I apologize through my heart.”
Mr. Yukioka said the marking down of female applicants “absolutely” should not have happened. He vowed to eradicate the practice as well as also also said the university was considering “in all sincerity” what to do about past female applicants who lost out on places.
For the crucial essay section of which year’s entrance exam, which was marked out of 100, Tokyo Medical University first subtracted 20 percent through all marks. Then which gave 20 bonus marks to men who had taken the exam three times or less. So if a woman as well as also also a man had both taken the exam as well as also also scored 70 out of 100, the woman was given a score of 56 while the man was given a score of 76.
“which can only be described as serious discrimination against women as well as also also which deserves strong criticism,” said the university’s internal report.
Female doctors said they were outraged by the university’s practices however not surprised. “I first heard rumours about universities marking down female students 10 years ago,” said Ruriko Tsushima, a doctor as well as also also member of the Japan Joint Association of Medical Professional Women.
The proportion of women admitted to Japanese medical schools rose steadily until 2003 when which peaked at 33.8 percent, however has remained broadly stable since.
Whereas Japanese women have a higher pass rate on entrance exams for almost every different university subject, including physics as well as also also engineering, in medicine the pass rate can be 6.85 percent for men as well as also also 5.91 percent for women.
Dr. Tsushima said her group had been trying to draw attention to the low pass rate for female applicants however got little attention before the scandal broke. “In a way we should thank Tokyo Medical University for bringing which to light,” she said.
People connected to Tokyo Medical have told local media which the reason the exams were rigged was which women are more likely to quit the profession when they have children. They said which created an intolerable burden for already overworked doctors, as well as also also the university was within its legal rights to choose who which accepts.
which was not an adequate excuse, said Dr. Tsushima. “If doctors are having to work long hours to cover maternity leave, which can be not a problem with the capability of female doctors, which can be a problem with the system,” she said.
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