A medical school in Tokyo has been forced to accept more than 60 female students after admitting it had discriminated against women for the past two years.
The school admitted that in August this year, it had been reducing the entrance exam scores of female applicants to ensure the numbers of female students remained low. The justification given was that women tend to quit their careers in medicine prematurely to raise families, and thus cause staffing shortages at the hospital.
67 female applicants who missed out as a result of discriminatory practices, will be enrolled immediately with the University’s President, Yukiko Hayashi apologising for the horrendous policy.
“We will conduct fair entrance exams and never let the inappropriate practice be repeated,” she said. “Nobody should be discriminated against because of gender.”
In Japan, the persistent continuation of traditional gender roles prevents women from pursuing equal opportunities at work. Far fewer women enrol in university and even if they do, they are still expected to give up their careers to be home-makers down the line.
A 2015 survey by the Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute asked 3,200 mothers of primary-aged children whether they expected their kids to attend university.
Only 66.9 percent of respondents expressed the desire to see their daughters graduate from four-year colleges, while 79.7 percent said they expected their sons would complete that level of education.
In the case of Tokyo Medical University, it is unclear how many of the women discriminated against will accept their offer to enrol.
The investigation into TMU found that all applicants’ first-stage test scores were reduced by 20 percent this year before adding a minimum of 20 points for male applicants.