Juntendo University medical school suspected of bias against female applicants

Juntendo University is suspected of having discriminated against female applicants to its medical school, sources close to the matter said Monday, as some other Japanese universities have already been criticized for manipulating entrance exams.
The Tokyo-based private university possibly curbed women's enrollment in the medical school by setting higher passing scores for them, the sources said. The education ministry has called for an explanation from the university.
The ministry surveyed 81 universities across the nation in August after similar manipulation was reported at Tokyo Medical University.
In the survey, Juntendo University was found with the largest gender gap in its acceptance rate for the past six years. The rate of successful male applicants to such female applicants stood at 1.67 for that period.
Applicants for the university take academic exams first and those who pass then write an essay and sit for interviews.
In the latest entrance exam this spring, 2,372 male and 1,779 female applicants took the exam for Juntendo University, with 239 men and 93 women passing it, the ministry said.
Following the survey in August, the university set up an independent committee to investigate the matter.
An official of the university denied it had discriminated against women or applicants who failed its entrance exams.
But the official also said a private university has "discretion" in entrance exams, which it and the ministry interpret differently.

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