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Osaka University was founded in 1931, when the Osaka Prefecture Medical School became Osaka Imperial University. This change was part of a national policy in Japan in which several imperal universities were established as centre of higher education and research. Originally the university had two schools – Medicine and Science – which increased to three in 1933 with the addition of Engineering, and five in 1949 with the addition of the School of Letters and the School of Economics when the university became Osaka University after the Second World War.
Today, Osaka University has 11 undergraduate schools, 16 graduate schools – including International Public Policy and Frontier Biosciences – five research institutes, two university hospitals and three national joint-use facilities, including the Research Center for Nuclear Physics and the Cybermedia Center. It is one of two national universities to have a School of Foreign Studies, and is the largest national university in Japan.
The university is spread across four campuses – Suita, Toyonaka, Minoh, and Nakanoshima – and is home to more than 15,000 undergraduates, 8,000 graduates and 2,000 international students, the majority of whom are graduates. They are taught by an academic staff of just under 3,200, with 3,645 part-time staff. Notable alumni include the Nobel Laureate in Physics Hideki Yukawa, Akira Yoshino, the inventor of the lithium-ion battery, and Sony founder Akio Morita.
Osaka is an industrial city in the Kansai region of Japan that has been called “the Manchester of the Orient”. It is the second-largest city in Japan after Tokyo and has a population of 19 million.