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1.0 Purpose and Scope

This procedure outlines the processes required for establishing and managing partnership agreements with International Partners.

This procedure supports the International Agreements Policy and covers agreements that establish, document and support collaborative relationships and activities with International Partners (i.e. governments, institutions, and business), and includes undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree research student and staff mobility programs, pathway articulation programs, sponsorship/scholarship arrangements and agreements that support general research collaborations with International Partners (e.g. International Cooperation Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, Memoranda of Agreement, Letters of Intent, etc.).

This procedure applies to UQ staff involved in:

  • the development of International Agreement proposals; and
  • the ongoing management of International Agreements.

Any sponsored research, contract research, collaborative research, research infrastructure, consultancy, visiting fellow, intellectual property or research-related agreements with international funding providers or partners, and where UQ is a collaborator, recipient or distributer of contract research funding, grants or service fees, are not within scope of this policy and are subject to the Administration of Research Funding: Applications, Grants and Contract Research Policy and the Consultancy, Secondary Employment and Internal Work Policy.

Donations and research philanthropy must be administered in accordance with the Philanthropy and Fundraising Policy.

1.1 Types of agreements

Collaborative international partnership agreements can engage UQ at a university-wide, Faculty, Institute, other division or centre level. Engagement may be bilateral or multilateral, and include partners from within Australia and abroad. Partner institutions may be higher education institutions, corporations, government bodies, not-for-profit organisations and other entities; although UQ expects that the majority of partners will be higher education institutions.

2.0 Process and Key Controls

1. Before proposing a new International Agreement, UQ staff must consider:

  • its strategic purpose and how it aligns with UQ’s International Agreements Policy;
  • its business planning and risk management implications in consultation with relevant UQ stakeholders; 
  • the most appropriate type and level of engagement;
  • the approvals required from UQ and external partners to execute any formal agreement; and
  • ongoing management of agreements, including their monitoring, review and reporting requirements.

2. Proposals to establish an International Agreement must be developed in writing using a Proposal Form for a New International Agreement (outlined in section 3.1).

3. UQ staff must consult Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship and seek the required approvals (outlined in section 3.2) prior to committing UQ to any International Agreement.

4. The execution of an International Agreement involving UQ must comply with UQ’s Delegations Policy and Financial and Contract Sub-delegations Procedure. 

3.0 Key Requirements

3.1 International Agreement proposal

Faculties and Institutes seeking to establish an International Agreement must develop a written proposal using a Proposal Form for a New International Agreement. The proposal must:

  • show how the proposed collaborative activity aligns with UQ’s strategic priorities and Global Strategy Framework;
  • include due diligence of the International Partner with support from UQ Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship, Research Partnerships and other relevant areas;
  • include appropriate business planning and risk management measures commensurate to the type of engagement;
  • identify expected outcomes of the activities and how success will be measured;
  • confirm that consultation that has been undertaken with relevant stakeholders across UQ; and
  • identify either an individual or a management team within UQ that will be responsible for managing the activities of the agreement.

Additional consultation and approvals may be required for certain types of agreements, including Student Mobility; Recognition of Prior Learning (Articulation, Credit Transfer), Double Degrees, Joint Awards, Scholarships, and agreements relating to Transnational Education.

Descriptions of these agreements are provided in the appendix.

Further information about additional consultation and approvals is provided in the International Agreement Guidelines.

Faculties, Institutes and Divisions should contact Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship for assistance and advice in developing their proposals, including more detailed information about their proposal’s consultation and approval obligations.

3.2 Proposal approval

Proposals developed within Faculties, Institutes or other Divisions must be:

  • endorsed by the relevant Executive Dean, Institute Director* or Division Head; and
  • provided to the Manager, International Agreements.

The International Agreements team will arrange for endorsed proposals to be considered by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship) and progressed to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) for approval.**

*For institutes within faculties, the approving authority is the Executive Dean.
** For agreements documenting collaborative academic program arrangements, all required approvals must be obtained prior to submitting a proposal for a new international agreement. Refer to the Collaborative Academic Program Arrangements Policy.

3.3 Agreements

Once a proposal for an International Agreement has been approved, the International Agreements team will prepare a formal agreement between UQ and the external party in relation to the approved international engagement activities. The team will prepare all agreements, preferably using template International Agreements provided by Legal Services, in consultation with the proposing Faculty, Institute or Division and relevant internal stakeholders. In some cases, it may be appropriate to accept a template agreement provided by the partner, which the International Agreements team will review in consultation with Legal Services.

Refer to the International Agreement Guidelines for types of agreements.

3.4 Executing an agreement

International Agreements must be executed in accordance with UQ’s Delegations Policy and Financial and Contract Sub-delegations Procedure. The International Agreements team arranges for the execution of International Agreements between UQ and partner organisations.

3.5 Monitoring and review of agreements

International Agreements

The Faculty, Institute or other Division that initiates the International Agreement must have ongoing monitoring and review mechanisms in place to assess the collaborative activity outlined in the agreement.

The Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship Office will commence a formal annual review of each International Agreement one year prior to its end date and require the responsible Faculty, Institute or Division to:

  • report on activity and outcomes under the agreement as identified in the original proposal; and
  • make recommendations to Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship on the merits of the agreement’s renewal or termination.

Student mobility agreements

The Student Employability Centre will monitor student exchange agreements and advise Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship on the performance of UQ’s formal student exchange agreements (undergraduate and postgraduate coursework). Advice should include emerging issues and the balance of student exchange numbers with partner institutions and make recommendations on the merit of the agreement’s renewal or termination.

The Graduate School will monitor, review and advise Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship on the performance of Higher Degree Research mobility agreements including recommendations on the merit of the agreement’s renewal or termination.

Review reports

Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship will present all review reports to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement).

Agreements under which there has been little or no activity will be terminated, usually as part of the process of monitoring and reviewing. Where necessary, the relevant Faculty or Institute must ensure appropriate transition arrangements are provided to accommodate staff or students affected by the termination of the agreement.

4.0 Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1 UQ International Agreements team

The International Agreements team facilitates the development of International Agreements (subject to this procedure), which formalise international engagement activities and is responsible for the following:

  • providing UQ staff with policy and procedural advice on establishing International Agreements;
  • conducting research relating to institutional partners;
  • facilitating and managing UQ’s International Agreements process as outlined in this procedure, including drafting and editing International Agreement documentation, the execution of agreements and record-keeping requirements;
  • conducting an annual review of UQ’s International Agreements; and
  • assisting with high-level reports and maintain a database of the UQ’s international engagement agreements.

4.2 UQ staff

UQ staff must comply with this procedure when seeking to establish an International Agreement involving UQ, including consulting the International Agreements team and Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship early in the development phase of any proposal.

4.3 Directors of Portfolios or Divisions, Executive Deans and Directors of Research Institutes

Directors of Portfolios or Divisions, Executive Deans and Directors of Research Institutes must comply with this procedure, including when exercising their approval authorities in relation to International Agreement proposals and agreements. For institutes within faculties, the approving authority is the Executive Dean.

Contract delegations and sub-delegations must be exercised in accordance with the Schedule of Contract Delegations and Sub-Delegations.

5.0 Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship) is responsible for the implementation  of this procedure, including ensuring that Executive Deans, Institute Directors and other Division leaders report on their international engagement activities as required under this procedure.

The International Agreements team will review this procedure as required to ensure its currency and relevance to the management of international engagement activities at UQ.

6.0 Recording and Reporting

Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship is responsible for reporting to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) on all International Agreements.

The International Agreements team maintains an International Agreements Database that keeps a record of all proposed and current International Agreements. The team is also responsible for conducting an annual review of expiring agreements with recommendations compiled in a Review of Expiring Agreements Report for presentation to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement).

7.0 Appendix

7.1 Definitions, Terms and Acronyms

Articulation – articulation pathways facilitate the progression of students from a partner institution to UQ. Articulation involves the recognition of a completed or partially completed award of a partner institution through the transfer of specified credit to a UQ award.

Coursework Exchange – the mobility of undergraduate or postgraduate coursework students between partner institutions where fees are not charged by the host institution.

Clinical Placement Exchange – the mobility of students between partner institutions who facilitate short term clinical placement opportunities for incoming students.

Credit Transfer – credit transfer is a process that provides students with agreed credit outcomes for components of a qualification based on identified equivalence in content and learning outcomes between matched qualifications. UQ may grant a student specified or unspecified credit for a number of units towards a UQ award on the basis of either previous formal study or recognised prior learning. The type of credit transfer granted depends on the program rules and the structure of an individual program (refer to Credit for Previous Studies and Recognised Prior Learning Policy).

Double Degree Program – (also known as a Collaborative Double Degree Program or dual award) is a course of study which results in two separate awards being conferred from two institutions and are usually completed in a shorter timeframe than if completed separately.

Engagement Activity/Initiative – includes collaborative academic programs, general cooperative research, student and staff mobility and visits and joint academic events.

Higher Degree Research Mobility

  • Exchange* – the mobility of HDR candidates for up to 12 months between partner institutions.
  • Collaborative Supervision* – means a doctoral research project jointly supervised by both institutions, where the Candidate spends a minimum time equivalent to the total of 1 year over the course of their award enrolled at the Host Institution.
  • Joint PhD* (including Co-Tutelle) – the joint award of a PhD to a student. A joint PhD is awarded by collaborating institutions. Students are regulated by an individual agreement outlining the specific terms and conditions of their Joint PhD program.

*Fees are not charged by the host. In some circumstances, where preferred partnerships exist, the HDR candidate may receive financial sponsorship from UQ and/or partner institution.

International Agreement – a document in the form of a Template International Agreement or Bespoke International Agreement with an International Partner including offshore higher education institutions, research institutions, public bodies, foreign governments, sponsors, scholarship providers, agencies and corporations that documents partnership activities including, but not limited to, general academic/research collaboration, undergraduate, postgraduate, higher degree research student and staff mobility programs, pathway articulation programs, and scholarship arrangements.

  • Bespoke International Agreements – include specifically drafted contracts, Template International Agreements or third party contracts proposed by an International Partner that are prepared, reviewed and negotiated in consultation with Legal Services. It is common for agreements with foreign entities (including corporations, government owned corporations, governments, agencies and scholarship bodies) to fall in this category.   
  • Template International Agreements – templates prepared by Legal Services and form a convenient basis for engaging in regular international activities.

Research Agreements as described in 1.0 Purpose and Scope of this document are not included within the definition of an “International Agreement”.

Joint awards – Joint awards involve the awarding of a single qualification that is jointly conferred by two or more providers and recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework. The arrangements for awarding the degree may include:

  • Joint award of a degree, whereby each institution awards a degree for the same program of work. An appropriate notation can be made to this effect on the UQ testamur and can be clearly specified in the agreement between UQ and the partner institution.
  • Dual badging of a degree, whereby the university or other institutions awarding the degree recognises the involvement of the partner institution by inclusion of their crest (or other device) on the testamur.

Recognition of Prior Learning – is an assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal) to determine the credit outcomes of an individual application for credit relevant to UQ studies.

Scholarship – a Scholarship Agreement sets out the terms and conditions between UQ and the scholarship body for accepting students on a scholarship to study at UQ.

Staff Mobility – programs aimed to support staff mobility between UQ and other institutions.

Student Mobility – programs aimed to support student movement between UQ and other institutions and include HDR Mobility (collaborative supervision, joint PhD & research exchange), coursework exchange, study abroad, and clinical placement exchange.

Study Abroad – a program where incoming students enrol as non-award students at UQ for one or two semesters/ research quarters of study on a tuition fee-paying basis.

Transnational Education – includes the marketing, enrolment processes and delivery and/or assessment of programs and/or study in a country other than Australia by UQ, where delivery includes a face-to-face component, regardless of whether or not the education and/or training leads to a UQ award.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement and Entrepreneurship) Dr Jessica Gallagher