University mulls retroactively admitting those who otherwise would have passed test
A Tokyo medical school apologized Tuesday after an internal investigation confirmed that it altered entrance exam scores for years to limit the number of female students and ensure more men became doctors.
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 school said the manipulation should not have occurred and would not in the future. It said it would consider retroactively admitting those who otherwise would have passed the exams, although it did not explain how it would do so. The initial media reports on the scandal said the manipulation removed as much as 10 per cent of female applicants in some years.
The exam scandal was revealed during an investigation into the alleged “backdoor entry” of an education ministry bureaucrat’s son in exchange for favourable treatment for the school in obtaining research funds. The bureaucrat and the former head of the school have been charged with bribery.
The investigation found that in this year’s entrance exams the school reduced all applicants’ first-stage test scores by 20 per cent 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. Medical graduates usually work at school-affiliated hospitals once their careers begin.
The education ministry official’s son, who had failed the exam three times, was given 20 additional points, elevating his score above the cutoff line.