Expanding its partnership with ChinaPay, Western Union is allowing institutions of higher education and universities to accept student fees and international tuition in the Chinese Renminbi.

The partnership will offer a co-branded, integrated platform to allow Chinese students and their families to pay foreign tuition in their home currency from their home country.

In the U.S., Chinese students make up 24% of the international student body, the companies said, citing a report published by the Institute for International Education. International students from China rose by 23% in the 2011/2012 academic year from the previous year, according to the report.

“More students go abroad from China than any other country in the world,” says Kerry Agiasotis, chief commercial officer at Western Union Business Solutions, in a Nov. 12 press release. “Over 1 million Chinese students studied abroad in 2011, and China is clearly an important market for universities globally. I am delighted that our partnership with ChinaPay will allow us to create a platform that will make it easy for them to accept local RMB (Renminbi) payments in a timely and efficient manner.”

The agreement also allows funds to be deducted from payers’ UnionPay cards in real time. ChinaPay is a unit of UnionPay, a bankcard association in China.

“International education is increasingly important for many in China,” says Cathy Wang, vice general manager of ChinaPay, in the press release. “Western Union’s work to improve the speed and efficiency of cross-border payments for hundreds of universities and higher education institutions around the world make them an ideal partner that will give students and their families a reliable, convenient payment solution.”

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