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Showa University medical school admits rigging entrance exam scores

Showa University said it has padded scores for applicants taking entrance exams for its medical school for the first or second time, in the latest case of entry-test irregularities following the manipulation of scores discovered at Tokyo Medical University.
The university in Tokyo said it has also favored applicants from alumni families, starting the score rigging six years ago without notifying applicants of such treatment.
"We deeply apologize to all our exam takers," Yoshio Ogawa, dean of the university's medical faculty, said at a press conference on Monday.
Showa University said it gave favorable treatment to 19 applicants from alumni families, while it denied any discrimination by gender.
The conduct was discovered after the education ministry surveyed 81 medical schools and said last week it strongly suspects multiple schools have taken discriminatory measures against female applicants and those who failed exams many times in the past.
The ministry conducted on-site probes at around 30 universities which had significant disparities in pass rates between female and male applicants in the last six years, and found evidence suggesting examinees were treated unfairly without prior notice based on their gender or record of past failures.
Last month, the ministry's preliminary survey results showed men passed entrance exams more than women at 78 percent of medical schools polled after the scandal related to Tokyo Medical University.
The ministry has not disclosed the names or number of such universities.
Tokyo Medical University admitted in August it had been deducting exam scores for over 10 years to curb the enrollment of women as well as men who failed the exam a number of times.
The rigging was aimed at keeping the proportion of women studying at the university around to 30 percent to avoid a shortage of doctors at affiliated hospitals, on the grounds that female doctors tend to resign or take long leaves of absence after getting married or giving birth, according to an internal report and university sources.
Male applicants who had failed multiple times were also shunned because they also tend to fail the national exam for medical practitioners, which would bring down the university's ratio of successful applicants and hurt its reputation, according to the sources.


© KYODO
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