National

Tokyo Metropolitan University professor fired for giving unfair advantage to master's program applicant

JIJI, Kyodo

Tokyo Metropolitan University (TMU) said it has fired a professor for providing an unfair advantage to an application for an admission test and also for attempting to persuade students to vote for a particular candidate in a national election.

Professor Hitoshi Takei, 53, of TMU’s Faculty of Health Sciences was given a disciplinary discharge effective Tuesday, the university said the same day. Takei has admitted to the allegations.

According to TMU, the professor disclosed in advance some parts of the admission test for the master’s program at the university’s Graduate School of Human Health Sciences, conducted in May 2017, to an acquaintance who took the exam. Takei, who had created questions for the test, allegedly told the applicant to view certain websites ahead of the exam.

The applicant, who passed the exam but quit later, told the university in November 2018 that the professor “unilaterally leaked” the test questions. The university said it has decided to accept another applicant who should have been accepted to the school had the problem not occurred.

Takei also called on multiple students to vote for a particular candidate running in the House of Councilors election in July 2016. The students were told to spread the message to some 160 students in the Faculty of Health Sciences, as well. The professor said that he had spoken briefly with the candidate two or three times and that the candidate did not directly ask Takei to call on students to vote.

TMU President Jun Ueno apologized for the incidents in a news conference in Tokyo.

“It is of great regret that we could not prevent the incidents from happening,” the president said.

The TMU is a public university founded by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It is located in the western Tokyo city of Hachioji.

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