Osaka Metropolitan University is Japan’s largest public university, a result of the merger of Osaka City University and Osaka Prefecture University in April 2022. The histories of both institutions date back approximately 140 years, and track closely with the growth of the city of Osaka (the “City of Water”) and its role as a strategic transportation hub.
Spanning the diverse fields of commerce, agriculture, engineering, medicine and other academic disciplines, both schools have made significant contributions to Osaka's culture and economy. Their location and curriculums also made them popular destinations for international students, coming primarily from the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines.
Today, Osaka Metropolitan University is home to 16,000 students. Its 12 undergraduate programs combine advanced specialized education and global learning to foster students' abilities to communicate globally and cultivate “new knowledge” for the society of the future. The graduate school offers 15 diverse programs encompassing interdisciplinary research at a global level and practical education to nurture real-world knowledge and skills.
Challenge: Complex and costly international payment processes with minimal options
Due to the increase in international students enrolling at both Osaka City University and Osaka Prefecture University, there was a corresponding increase in the need to take international payments for admission and tuition for these students. However, students faced significant challenges when making these payments - high fees and cumbersome bank procedures, in addition to intricate paperwork related to daily fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. Other issues also arose, including complicated paperwork to refund incorrect payments and the time and effort required to process additional collections. As a result, in principle, the finance team didn’t accept international payments.
However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the need for easier international payments increased further, when travel and group activity restrictions meant that universities moved to online classes to deliver their courses to students.
Solution: Convenient online payment methods in students’ local currencies
Osaka City University started using Flywire in 2020 and Osaka Prefecture University in 2021. For both, Flywire provided a modern, convenient and secure way for their students to make payments from abroad in their home currency. Flywire also offered multiple payment options including for those international students residing in Japan who found it difficult to pay.
Each student pays using a unique student ID, so the finance team can immediately identify which student each payment is from. The ability to track payment status from start to end is also a huge benefit for both the University and students. It also simplifies the refund process if ever needed.
In addition, Flywire provides around-the-clock multilingual support for payment-related questions.
Benefits: Improved convenience for students, greater operational efficiencies for the university
With Flywire, the University has simplified the international payment process and eliminated a huge burden for both its students and the University’s finance team. Expanded payment options in local currencies also represent a significant improvement in customer service.
Lower remittance fees have reduced the payment costs for students and students/families now know the exact amount they are paying, so there is no need for additional invoicing and collections after the initial payment is made.
Since partnering with Flywire to handle its international payments, Osaka Metropolitan University has seen several important results.
- Processed more than ¥46.5 million in international tuition payments in 11 different currencies and from 10 different countries
- Reduced customer support requirements
- Improved international student satisfaction through expanded payment options and convenience
Flywire ensures swift and dependable fund transfer. If either the student or University has questions, Flywire offers superior service and prompt response in multiple languages, with world-class support systems for both parties. It makes a big difference on both ends.