A prominent medical university in Japan on Wednesday said it would offer places to dozens of applicants who were earlier denied seats because of an alleged bias against female students, AFP reported. The institute had in August admitted to having changed medical scores for years to limit the number of female students.
Tokyo Medical University President Yukiko Hayashi told reporters that the college will contact 101 applicants, including 67 women, who were rejected in the past two years. The college will inquire if they are still interested in a place in April 2019. Since only a maximum of 63 spots will be available due to quotas, the college will provide seats based on the original entrance scores, said Hayashi.
The university was found to have manipulated test results from 2006 as it wanted fewer women doctors as motherhood would either shorten women’s careers or end it. It issued an apology in August after the results of an internal investigation confirmed the practice. Hayashi became the university’s first woman president after the controversy came to light, Kyodo News reported.
In October, an independent committee report said that 69 applicants who took the general entrance exam and a common admission test used by most universities in 2017 and 2018 would have qualified for admission if a fair process had been followed. At least 55 of these applicants were women.
“We were notified that we acted inappropriately on matters relating to entrance exams. We deeply apologise to everyone who was affected,” said Hayashi. “We are shocked that so many have been affected.”
Hayashi said the college will accept fewer students in April 2019 depending on how many of the 101 candidates take up the offer, adding that new candidates will be impacted. The university has now set up a new ranking system to determine admissions and give affected applicants another opportunity to attend from 2019.
A group of 24 women have demanded 100,000 yen (around Rs 63,500) each as compensation citing “mental anguish” and have also requested the college to refund their exam and travel fees. The women include a doctor, students enrolled at other medical schools, and those who took up jobs in other fields.