Evidence suggests Tokyo Medical University rigged scores for donors' relatives, panel says

JIJI, Kyodo

A third-party panel probing admission irregularities at Tokyo Medical University strongly suspects there was a relation between donations and some score adjustments.

According to an additional report released by the university on Monday, the names of 11 successful entrance exam takers were included in a memo created by Masahiko Usui, former chairman of the university’s board of regents. Also on the memo were numbers written alongside 10 of the 11 names, with some of those corresponding to donations made by the applicants’ relatives.

The 10 exam takers were admitted to the university while people related to them made donations to the institution. The donation amounts matched the numbers on the memo for five of the 10 applicants.

The remaining applicant, for whom no figure was on the memo, was also admitted to the university although no donations were made.

For two of the 11 applicants, for whom the memo cited the figures of “10 million,” it is “strongly suspected” that talks related to donations took place before the announcement of successful exam takers, the report said.

The amount of donations made by the relatives of the 10 applicants totaled ¥141 million, with each paying between ¥3 million and ¥30 million.

Score-rigging may have been carried out for seven of the 11 applicants, according to the report.

The possibility cannot be ruled out that alumni of the university were aware of “unwritten rules” that massive donations should be made to the university if some consideration is sought from the applicant’s side, as well as if they actually pass the tests and are enrolled in the university, the report noted.

The report revealed that email exchanges between Usui and a parent of an applicant showed a promise of donations.

In one of the emails, Usui replied to the parent to “prepare 3 million (before the exam), and make another big one after being enrolled.” The parent is believed to be an alumni of the university and had sounded out Usui about donations in an e-mail.

A subsequent email showed that the parent actually made the donation of ¥3 million.

The report also said that members of the panel tried to conduct a hearing with a then-lawmaker who is suspected of asking for a favor from Usui and then helping an applicant be accepted as an additional successful test taker in the fiscal 2013 entrance exam for the university’s school of nursing.

But the then-lawmaker rejected the hearing, noting that a criminal case involving people including Usui is ongoing, according to the report.

Tokyo Medical University late last year released a final report on the investigation of the admission scandal. But the education ministry urged the university to conduct an additional probe.

The university has been under fire since revelations emerged last year that it has been altering entrance exam results to exclude some women.