Tokyo university apologises after women deliberately marked down to limit numbers
August 08, 2018 06:12:44
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
- It was reportedly done to prevent a shortage of doctors at affiliated hospitals — some believed female doctors tended to resign or take leave after getting married or giving birth
- University officials said they would now “sincerely” consider their response
It is understood the senior officials at Tokyo Medical University wanted to keep the number of women at about 30 per cent, so they altered the computerised marking system.
The practice had reportedly been going on for more than a decade.
The report on the school’s applications process also found that officials boosted the scores of some applicants who were children of the university’s graduates so the institution could garner donations from the parents.
“We deeply apologise for having inconvenienced and caused so many people pain with such a serious scandal,” university director Tetsuo Yukioka said.
“Society is changing rapidly and we need to respond to that, and any organisation that fails to utilise women will grow weak and fail to contribute to society.”
University officials said they would now “sincerely” consider their response, including the possibility of compensation.
But they maintained they were unaware of the manipulation.
It is understood the practice of subtracting points from female candidates was done to prevent a shortage of doctors at affiliated hospitals, as some at the medical college believed that female doctors tended to resign or take long periods of leave after getting married or giving birth.
As a consequence, the computerised marking system automatically deducted the entrance exam marks for all female applicants.
Last month, prosecutors indicted the two top executives at the university on bribery charges.
They were charged with allowing the son of a former top education ministry official to be admitted to the school illegally in exchange for favouritism in connection with a government subsidy program.
An investigation by the university’s in-house lawyers concluded the official’s son had his score boosted by up to 49 points.
It also showed the scores of men — including those reappearing after failing once or twice — were also raised by at least 10 points.
The primary exam had a maximum of 400 points.