Tokyo Medical University, one of the most competitive private schools in Japan, acknowledged today that since at least 2006, it had been systematically altering the scores on its admission exams to keep female students out, Bloomberg reports.
The discriminatory practice was uncovered during an investigation into whether the university had inflated the admission scores of a former education ministry official’s son. According to the school’s report, a ceiling was placed on women’s potential scores, so that even if female applicants got perfect marks on the written exam, they could only receive 80/100.
Men who took the exams several years after graduating from high school were also discriminated against, because officials were concerned that women and older men would not be able to work long hours in the hospital after getting married and having children. To further penalize these two groups, the university also added points to the test scores of men applying within three years of graduating from high school.
“I was shocked when I heard about it,” said Tetsuo Yukioka, the managing director of the university, adding that he felt the “greatest regret” over the issue.
As Bloomberg notes, the controversy has caused widespread outrage in Japan, which has, in recent years, sought to increase the number of women in the workforce through measures like Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Womenomics” (hm), which encourages working women to “shine” (Jesus Christ). Amazingly, this shine-forward tactic doesn’t seem to have fixed the problem, and in 2016, women still only accounted for 21 percent of doctors. Perhaps because they were systematically excluded from the field, and also because the best solution authorities could come up with to address these steep barriers to entry was a goofy name for a nonsense policy.