SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: December 10, 2018

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Jutendo University

Region & Country:Eastern Asia | Japan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On December 10, 2018, Jutendo University admitted that it had rejected more than 100 applicants, falsely informing them that they had failed an entrance exam, on the basis of gender.

A panel of outside lawyers commenced an investigation into gender-based discrimination in admissions at Jutendo University after Tokyo Medical University admitted to manipulating the entrance exam results of female applicants for over a decade (see report here).

Jutendo University administrators acknowledged that women (as well as repeat test takers) who were among the 600 applicants who passed the first phase exam, but were not among the top 200 applicants, were informed they had failed the exam and their applications were rejected. Those female applicants who did move on to the second phase test were required to achieve 0.5 points higher score than male counterparts in order to move forward in the application process. Jutendo has reportedly rejected a total of 121 women (as well as 44 repeat test takers) in the past two years using this approach.

Jutendo University announced that it will invite the 48 applicants who achieved passing scores on both test phases to attend the university, and will provide a test refund to the 117 applicants who had achieved passing scores on the first phase but were not permitted to advance to the second phase test. The panel will continue to investigate if such practices were used against applicants going back to 2008.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about invidious, gender-based discrimination by a university. University authorities have an obligation to adhere to university values and relevant human rights principles, including equitable access and the right to education. Invidious, gender-based discrimination harms both individual applicants and the institution more broadly.