How To Partner With Us

How to Partner with us (International Partnership):

1. Informal Discussions

Prior to having detailed discussion on making international partnership, the proposer should discuss the planned agreement informally with the University’s Head of International Office and/or the Senior Management which may include Vice President / Vice Rector. This is aimed to find out whether the proposed cooperation / partnership align with the University’s vision and mission and support the institution’s internationalization strategy. Through International Office as liaison officer, the proposer should also consult with the Dean / Head of Department if it concerns a particular School / Department.

 

2. Initial Explorations

The proposer should engage in early discussions with the Prospective Partner and Head of International Office to ascertain whether the partnership is appropriate and beneficial to both institutions. Initial meetings/visits should cover, as appropriate:

  • The reputation, adopted values and academic qualifications of the prospective partner (in domestic and international standing);
  • The size of the cohort at the partner, the nationalities of students;
  • The language of delivery and assessment at the partner;
  • Detailed course information, which includes program specifications, learning outcomes, assessment, grading, awarding / validating institutions, teaching and learning methods, admissions requirements, details of faculty, student support and information on the management of quality and standards;
  • Who are their partners, affiliations and existing model / types of international partnership;
  • English proficiency standards;
  • How an agreement would be presented and promoted by both institution, the Partner and the University;
  • The expectations of the partner and the University, in terms of access to students, marketing, and use of both institution’s logo and visual identity;
  • Whether the students would apply individually or with the help of the partner or an agent;
  • Whether the partner would be seeking financial arrangement with the University as part of an agreement.

 

3. Initial Approval

Before committing to any partnership / collaboration, the initial approval process should be taken. This is a requirement for all partnerships except for solely research collaboration. The initial approval process is necessary for all partnerships to ensure potential partners are properly evaluated at an early stage of discussions, and advice from relevant departments is considered regarding the feasibility of the proposals. This process is also aimed to secure support in principle from the University Senior Management group prior to proceeding further.

 

As part of the initial approval process, the proposer will need to complete the International Cooperation Approval Request Form with:

  • Background information of potential partner,
  • Details of the school / department involved; and
  • A summary of the proposed arrangement

 

In principle, the University Senior Management will consider:

  • Whether the proposed institution is an appropriate institutional partner for UPH;
  • The strategic case to support the development of the proposed new partnership;
  • The academic credibility of the proposed arrangement; and
  • Any risks involved in establishing a partnership and how can these risks be managed.

The flow chart below provides a step-by-step guide of the process:

 

how to partner with us

 

4. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

In most cases, it is more appropriate to establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the partner before proceeding further with agreements, especially if it involves commitment to explore potential of multiple cooperation activities. MoU is meant to express opportunities for collaboration and positive academic engagement between universities with reciprocal benefits, without establishing a formal legal relationship between the two institutions.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) may include a commitment to explore potential for:

  • Cooperation on new or existing academic program
  • Staff exchange or mutual visits to both institutions
  • Staff training / professional development
  • Student Exchange
  • The development of joint research activities
  • Exchange of information in the form of publications and journals, reference materials and other results of teaching and research;
  • Any other activities that may be potentially beneficial

 

When should An MoU be established?

MoU is often viewed as a starting point for international partnership development in many countries, although it may not always be necessary to sign a MoU. It is preferable to avoid creating MoU unless both institutions have set a clear objective and potential partnership activities have been identified and negotiations are at an advanced stage. If appropriate, it is also possible to proceed directly to the agreement relevant to the specific type of partnership without a MoU. However, to some institutions, a MoU (including UPH) is a pre-requisite to start discussions on collaborative activity.

 

 

Guidance for Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):

1.1. Initial Approval

The initial approval should be taken for all types of partnership except those solely for research collaboration, and this step must be completed prior to proceeding with any MoU.

 

1.2 Drafting an MoU

Once an initial approval request has been approved, the International Office (Global Partnership) will draft an MoU and support the proposer to negotiate with Partner on the content. If possible, it is preferable to use UPH MoU template, but it is acceptable to use the draft from the Partner as well. The collaborative activities can be added to if necessary, or items removed, although a broad list of partnership type should be included to avoid the MoU requiring revision if further areas of collaborations develop. Please note that template agreements should not be sent out to the Partner without prior discussion from International Office and Legal Aspect.

Once the agreement has been finalized, it will be submitted to UPH Executive Committee for the approval and signature of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (for partnerships relating to student mobility, teaching or recruitment), Vice President for Finance and Administration as well as Deputy Provost (for partnership that may also have research components).

In general, (if applicable) the agreements should be at institutional level (between Universities) rather than at faculty / school level. However, if the collaboration activity is focused on particular academic units, it may be appropriate for these to be listed on the MoU in addition to the two universities, and for the heads of the respective school / departments / unit to sign the agreement.

 

1.3 Escalation of MoU

It is expected that a MoU will progress to a more substantial collaborative activity (e.g. research collaboration, study abroad or student exchange agreements, progression). It is important to ensure that an MoU does not escalate into more complex partnership arrangement without seeking the necessary approval and legal advice from relevant department.

 

1.4 Ongoing Monitoring

The proposer of the partnership listed on the Initial Approval Request Form (or their nominated substitute) will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the MoU, including maintaining the regular contact with the Partner Institution, reviewing the arrangement and report to the relevant committees and / or International Office, as necessary, on an annual basis.

 

1.5 Termination or expiry of an MoU

Either institution may terminate the MoU or cease to pursue the objectives of the agreement at any time during the term, subject to an agreed notice period. If the agreement is inactive or dormant, the proposer should seek to formally terminate the agreement. He / She can notify the International Office (IO) or Office of International Affairs (OIA) of the institution and inform the partner of the intention to terminate the agreement in writing and log the termination accordingly.

 

5. Curriculum Mapping

Prior to drafting an articulation agreement, the proposer must coordinate with the head of department / faculty, Registrar Office and Head of Academic Enhancement and Quality Assurance (AEQA) and obtain a more detailed curriculum mapping with the partner institution, to ensure that the standards set and achieved by students at the partner institution are equivalent to the standard set and achieved by internal students at the equivalent stage of their studies at the University. The compatibility between the course at the partner institution and the course to which students will progress should be evaluated, to ensure the admitted students will:

  • Be appropriately prepared to begin studies at the point of entry and have a fair and reasonable chance of successfully completing the course;
  • Have achieved learning outcomes that are generally equivalent to those of the University modules for which credits is granted;
  • Have achieved the University’s stated English language entrance requirements.

 

The following documentation (in English) should be obtained by the proposer, following consultation with the partner, and reviewed by the academic lead in the relevant department:  

a) information on the legal status of the proposed partner institution;

b) information on the University course to which students will progress (including programme specification and module outlines) and the stage at which progressing students will enter the course;

c) the course/modules at the partner institution upon which recognition of credit will be granted and relevant course and/or module outlines;

d) information on the comparability of the curriculum (including a mapping of learning outcomes), learning and teaching methods, standards of assessment, and the acquisition of learning skills relevant to future study;

e) evidence that students who have achieved the qualification or credits at the partner institution have attained the same standard as students studying the award at the University and entering the same stage of their studies;

f) evidence that students will have acquired the required level of competence in English language to successfully complete their studies at the University and meet UK Border Agency minimum requirements;

g) details of any specific bridging, academic and pastoral support requirements over and above that normally available (including the process for managing induction).

 

6. Articulation Agreement

Once the initial approval is obtained, the proposer should complete a template agreement available from the International Office or use a template provided by the partner, if necessary. If required, assistance from International Office can also be provided. The recommended term for an agreement is usually set for three up to five years.

 

These are the essential information that should be included in an articulation agreement:

  • When the agreement will start and expire;
  • Details of the subjects students will undertake at UPH, including academic and English language entry requirements;
  • Course details at partner institution, including grading and assessment;
  • Academic contact person at both institution

 

Once the agreement has been finalized, it should be submitted to International Office, Legal Aspect, Academic Enhancement Quality Assurance and Admission Department.

 

7. Financial Arrangements

An articulation agreement may be accompanied by a financial arrangement, such as:

  • An individual tuition fee discount or scholarship for each student applying under the agreement;
  • A fixed or sliding scale of percentage of the tuition fee paid to the partner. This may be for every student or subject to a fixed number of students enrolling;
  • Scholarship fund linked to the number of students enrolling.

Potential financial arrangement involving discounts and scholarship must be communicated and pre-approved by Finance Department and Vice President (and Deputy) for Finance and Administration. Consideration should be given early in talks with partner to whether any students would apply through agents, or under scholarship program with which UPH has an agreement, as this may limit financial arrangements with the partner. Any financial arrangement should be clearly stated in the articulation agreement.

 

8. Escalation of Progression Agreement

If there is any interest in exploring additional collaborative activity beyond the articulation agreement, the appropriate guidance should be followed for developing a formal agreement, dependent on the type of partnership. It is important to ensure that an MoU does not escalate into more complex partnership arrangement without seeking the necessary approval and legal advice from relevant department.

 

9. Ongoing Monitoring

The proposer of the partnership listed on the initial approval request form will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the articulation agreement, including maintaining regular contact with the partner institution, arranging visits (if necessary), overseeing any related publicity material and reviewing the arrangement on annual basis. He/She will be required to report to relevant committees or boards on the arrangement, as necessary. He/She may also be contacted or take initiative to contact International Office annually to submit a report and update on the current status of the partnership. The academic lead will be responsible for providing support and guidance to progressing students and reviewing any changes to the course at the partner institution.

 

10. Termination or expiry of agreement

Either institution may terminate the articulation agreement or cease to pursue the objectives of the agreement at any time during the term, subject to an agreed notice period. In the event of termination or amendment, the participants in the arrangements shall be permitted to complete their activities in accordance with the terms of the agreement. The annual review of the articulation agreement should determine whether it continues to function with commitment from both institutions. If the agreement is inactive or long overdue or dormant, the proposer should seek to formally terminate the agreement. He/She can notify International Office, who will inform the partner of the intention to terminate the agreement in writing and log the cessation accordingly.