Amid the prolonged COVID-19 crisis, it has been noted that the science and medical departments of Japanese universities have attracted prospective students. One of the biggest reasons that have been pointed out to be behind this is that choosing to pursue a medical degree can be an advantage during job hunting. The trend is especially apparent this year among female examinees residing across Japan.
All in all 512,581 people applied for University Admissions that is scheduled for Jan 14 and 15. This has come down by 18,000 from last year. However, there has been an increase in the number of students applying for medicine. This entrance exam is being used for admissions in some 870 institutions.
When the exam takers were asked about their choice of academic fields, a lot of them named science departments. This is because the science field has been considered advantageous at the time of applying for jobs as well as acquiring certificates, against the backdrop of the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19.
Even under the Science department, the departments that were related to medicine were seen as being particularly popular. Not just aspiring medical students, but also the number of applicants that were hoping to get into pharmaceutical departments has increased recently. This is also likely because vaccine development has gained renewed attention during the pandemic.
Among students who applied to private universities, the number of students that were hoping to enter the field of medicine has increased by 9%. However if we limit this research to only female examinees, the growth rate increased to 13%. In other fields of science and medicine, like veterinary medicine, there was a 21% increase among female exam takers as compared to a 16% growth among both male and female applicants combined. Applied chemistry saw an increase of 7% among female applicants as compared to a 1% rise overall.