Tokyo Medical University’s license canceled over discrimination against female students

Published 23.11.2018 12:34

Tokyo Medical University's license has been canceled amid the scandal that revealed the university had deliberately blocked female students' applications to the school by lowering their grades, according to a decision announced Thursday.

The Accreditation Council for Medical Education, a private organization which grants accreditation to medical schools in Japan, canceled the school's accreditation at its board meeting, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported.

This was the first time a school accreditation was canceled by the organization, which covers 80 schools in Japan and launched a rating system last year.

While the council's decision will not affect the university's activities in Japan, it was stated that it may risk students' postgraduate applications in the United States as well as their applications for student exchange programs.

The university began lowering the admission test scores of female applicants in 2011, after the 2010 results showed that an increasing number of women were granted places. In 2010, around 40 percent of successful applicants were women, double the previous year.

In 2018, the ratio of women accepted after the first round of tests was 14.5 percent, compared to 18.9 percent for men.

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

When the scandal became public, an unidentified source from the university had defended the action, saying that the women usually quit their jobs in hospitals after marrying and having children.

"There is a consensus inside the university that male doctors support the university hospital," which often requires emergency duties and long shifts, the source told the Yomiuri newspaper.

At the time, the university was reportedly already under investigation by the Tokyo District Prosecutor's Office over claims the privately-run school wrongly admitted the son of an education ministry official through bribery.

After the allegations on the university's deliberate manipulations towards female students were confirmed, it fueled a sexism debate in the country.

While Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has started a policy on encouraging women's participation in the business world, the developments regarding the issue are still below expectations.

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