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Education ministry panel in Japan drafts rules clarifying that sex discrimination in university entrance exams is improper

JIJI, Kyodo

An education ministry panel has drafted common rules clearly stipulating that any gender-based discrimination in university admission exams is inappropriate.

Other inappropriate admission-related practices cited by the rules, included in the panel’s interim report announced Friday, include giving preferential treatment to specific applicants without rational reasons and treating first-time and multiple takers of such tests in a different manner.

The panel was set up after unfair admissions practices at Japanese medical schools came to light.

The ministry will revise its guidelines for admissions exams in June after receiving the panel’s final report and collecting opinions from related groups, such as the Japan Association of National Universities.

The interim report called on universities to clarify the number of applicants to be admitted and give rational explanations when setting up special admission quotas based on regions and other factors.

The report also urged universities to make consensus-based admission decisions to prevent arbitrary judgments by any specific person, and to ensure that the score-based rankings of exam takers who may be admitted to fill vacancies are disclosed to such candidates.

Last December, the education ministry released the result of its probe into university admissions processes, which found that nine of Japan’s 81 medical schools have manipulated their entrance exams to favor men and relatives of alumni.

The nine schools are Tokyo Medical University, Juntendo University, Showa University, Nihon University, Kobe University, Kitasato University, Iwate Medical University, Kanazawa Medical University and Fukuoka University.

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