New partner approval process
New partners must gain approval as offering an appropriate institutional environment for the delivery of higher education before they can be considered for collaborative delivery of a UKAP award. Proposals for new international partners may relate to an entirely new partnership; a new branch of an established partner under central management; or, a new branch of an established partner with an autonomous management structure. The criteria for approval are based on the strategic aims of the UKAP:
- Collaborations with UK-based partners should meet demand for higher education in the UK.
- Collaborations with overseas partners should raise the UKAP’s international reputation.
- Collaborations should generate income for all partners, and support the diversification of the UKAP’s income.
- Collaborative programmes must be delivered in English.
- Research and consultancy activities could be developed as a result of the collaboration.
- Staff development activities on campus and at partners are supported.
- Ideally collaboration ought to be located within existing geographical ‘nodes’.
- Collaborations could be part of an existing network of collaborative partners.
- Multiple Faculties should be involved or have the potential to be involved.
The case for a new partnership is considered by the Partner Scrutiny Panel (PSP), which reports to the Academic Planning Committee (APC). All approved partnerships are kept under review by PSP and are subject to periodic review.
Prior to the PSP meeting – Preliminary steps
- Exploratory discussions should take place, involving the International Partnerships Manager and the relevant Faculty Director(s) of Partnerships
- Possible initial ‘scoping visit’ to the external institution may take place, and the prospective partner may also visit UKAP’s
- If the partnership is believed to be worth pursuing by both institutions, an exchange of information (including outline of procedures and information about likely costs and programme-level fees) will take place. At this stage, a Memorandum of Understanding may sometimes be signed at the request of the proposing partner; this simply signals the intention of both parties to discuss a possible partnership.
After the PSP meeting
After the meeting, the PSP Executive Officer prepares a brief report for the Academic Planning Committee (APC) summarising PSP’s discussion and recommendation. APC considers the recommendation and, providing it endorses it, submits it to Academic Council and Council makes the final decision about whether to approve or to decline. The Link Manager communicates Council’s decision to the prospective partner.
- After this, the International Partnerships Office prepares the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) and Financial Memorandum (FM). Agreements are normally subject to five-yearly review, with the potential for re-appraisal of the partnership by either of the institutions. Details relating to specific programmes will be added later as Appendices to these Memoranda once individual programmes are approved for collaborative delivery.
- If the partner has been approved by Academic Council, proposals for collaborative programmes with this partner can then be presented to APC for authorisation.