Japanese Medical School Confirms Changing Exam Scores to Keep Women Out

Japan medical university cut women's test scores

"We betrayed the public's trust".

Tokyo Medical University said it is considering some relief measures for those who failed to pass the exams due to the deductions and preventive measures of dishonesty using surveillance cameras.

University officials said they would now "sincerely" consider their response, including the possibility of compensation.

The sources also said that there were examination invigilators at the university that used a specific manual to guide the process of manipulating students' points to control the enrollment process.

Japanese media last week reported that the university had for years been lowering the scores of female applicants in order to keep the ratio of women in the school at 30 per cent or lower.

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.

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 manipulation was "nothing but discrimination against women", said one of the lawyers hired by the university to investigate the alterations, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday.

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Almost 50% of Japanese women are college educated - one of the world's highest levels - but they often face discrimination in the workforce.

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

It also showed the scores of men - including those reappearing after failing once or twice - were also raised by at least 10 points.

"The world's getting more equal than in the past, but we are still looked down upon as women", university student Yumi Matsuda said. Those of all women, and men who had failed the test at least three times, were not, however.

In the second and final test stage, just 2.9 percent of female applicants were admitted, compared with 8.8 percent of male applicants.

The story has caused outrage in Japan, with women's empowerment minister Seiko Noda calling the practice "disturbing".

Tokyo Medical University acknowledged that it had been making it harder for women to attend since 2006 in a deliberate effort to ensure that most of those matriculating were men. "Women often give up being a doctor once they are married and have children", an unnamed source said to AFP.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made a priority of creating a society "where women can shine", but women in Japan still face an uphill battle in employment and face hurdles returning to work after childbirth, a factor behind a falling birthrate.

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