Japanese medical schools admitting more men: survey

AFP, TOKYO

Thu, Sep 06, 2018 - Page 6

A government survey sparked by a discrimination scandal has found that most Japanese medical schools admit male applicants at a higher rate than women, prompting further government investigation.

The probe came after revelations last month that Tokyo Medical University routinely altered the scores of female applicants to keep down the number of women in the student body.

Preliminary data from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s survey of all 81 medical schools over the past six years showed that men were admitted at a higher rate than women, a ministry official said.

“If there are cases of misconduct like the Tokyo Medical University case, the government will step in to call for corrective measures,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The survey found that 11.25 percent of male applicants were admitted overall, compared with 9.55 percent for women.

Several schools involved in the survey declined to comment when contacted by reporters.

However, the survey said the institutions denied any systematic attempts to keep women out.

The ministry plans to investigate the issue further, including site visits and research into how entrance exams are conducted.

The head of the ministry’s university entrance exams office told Jiji news agency that female applicants were generally more successful across the board at university entrance exams for departments ranging from science to the humanities.

The ministry plans to issue a final report on the issue next month.

Tokyo Medical University last month said that it had routinely lowered the scores of female applicants on the belief that men would be better able to deal with the long hours required of doctors, and women would quit their jobs after marrying and having children.

The alterations reportedly stretched back as far as 2006 and apparently aimed to keep the ratio of women in the school at 30 percent or lower.