Japanese medical school apologises for marking down female entrance candidates

Japanese university apologises for marking down female entrants
Japanese university apologises for marking down female entrants
By Jet Cuthbertson
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Tokyo Medical University has apologised after admitting it has been marking female candidates down for over a decade. Many in the country worry that female doctors will take time off for maternity leave, and create a doctor shortage.


A university in Tokyo has apologized after it emerged that they had been purposefully marking down female candidates for over a decade.

Tokyo Medical University admitted manipulating entrance exam results since 2006, although they believed it could pre-date this. A legal investigation found that female candidates had been marked down by 20%, with male candidates having 20 points added to their scores.

At a press conference, Tetsuo Yukioka, Director of Tokyo Medical University said:

"We deeply apologise for having inconvenienced, and caused so many people pain, with such a serious scandal."

"Society is changing rapidly and we need to respond to that. Any organisation that fails to utilise women will grow weak, and will fail to contribute to society."

Reaction within the country to the revelations has been mixed, ranging from appalled at explicit procedural discrimination, to dejected acceptance from many women who had long suspected

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has previously said that he wants to make Japan “a society where women can shine”. Despite this, the country lacks behind of international result tables on equality. The country has very few women politicians, and the wage gap sees women earn around 30% less than men for equal work.

According to the UN’s Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Japan has one of the lowest number of female doctors in the world. Many in Japan believe that the number of female doctors should be limited, as an increase of women in medicine may lead to staffing shortages if they take time off work for maternity leave

Whilst the University have apologised for their behaviour, there is no formal scheme as yet to compensate the candidates who were affected. Many have suggested that the victims should receive some form of financial compensation, whilst a system of targets and scholarships for future applicants has also been discussed.

Journalist • Jet Cuthbertson

Video editor • Jet Cuthbertson

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