Study Abroad Agreements with international universities are arranged through the International Office (IO) and/or Faculty Student Recruitment Hubs (FSRHs). The primary objective of developing a Study Abroad Agreement is to recruit fee-paying undergraduate or postgraduate students on a short-term, non-graduating basis.
These are agreements with other universities to permit the exchange of undergraduate or postgraduate students for a period of study. There is no financial impact as tuition fees continue to be paid by students to their home institution. Student exchange agreements can include but are not exclusive to ERASMUS agreements and the initial point of contact is the Global Opportunities Team in the Careers Employment and Skills (CES) Unit.
Study Abroad Approval Procedures
Study Abroad Agreements are normally initiated at a School, Faculty or IO level, where an international university may request an agreement in order to send Study Abroad students to Queen’s. It should be noted that subject areas covered in agreement requests may be specific to one Faculty or cross-Faculty.
In the first instance, the IO or Faculty will send the request to the relevant Dean of Internationalisation (DI) of the overarching Faculty indicated in the agreement request, accompanied by a brief rationale, which includes details such as: Full Institution Name, City/State/Country, Institutional Ranking and/or Strategic Interest, Subject Areas of Interest, Lead Contact etc. The Dean of Internationalisation will consider the request and rationale on behalf of the Faculty Executive Board (FEB) and, if approved, will forward an approval email to the IO, copying in relevant School(s) (Head of School and School Manager), Secretary to the Dean and Faculty Business Development Officer (and Deans of Internationalisation from other Faculties, as required).
The IO will draft an agreement using an approved standardised template and return to the requesting University for consideration and approval. Where a requesting university has provided their own template, a request will be made for the Queen’s template to be considered, or, alternatively, the Queen’s template will be incorporated in the requesting university’s agreement and duly verified with Queen’s legal team. Where the terms requested by the partner institution are outside of the scope of the standard Queen’s Study Abroad agreement template, the IO will also consult with the relevant Queen’s department, as appropriate (for example Global Opportunities, Finance, Student Services and Systems or the International Student Support team).
Once the text of the template has been approved by the partner institution, the agreement will be sent by IO or Faculty to the Chair of the Collaborative Provisions Group (CPG), with accompanying rationale including email approval from the Dean of Internationalisation, for final approval and sign-off.
The signed agreement will be returned by CPG Chair to the IO or FSRH. The Study Abroad partner will then duly be issued with the signed agreement for their signature to be added.
A final report, accompanied by final agreement, signed off by both parties, will be provided by IO or FSRH to Academic Affairs, copying Global Opportunities, Finance, Student Services and Systems and the International Student Support Office, to ensure that the agreement is formally reported to CPG and appropriately disseminated to relevant internal stakeholders.
The Agreement will be saved in a central Study Abroad repository, with access given to all stakeholders as required.
A flowchart summarising the above process is available.
Student Exchange Approval Procedures - Non EU Universities
Student Exchange agreements are initiated at School level with the aim of an identical number of students exchanging to undertake study at both institutions. Initial approval should be progressed in accordance with the International Partnership Triage Process in the first instance. Subject to the outcome of this procedure the School should contact the Global Opportunities Team with details of the proposed partner institution, admissions requirements for both Queen’s and the partner institution and details of the related programme (and potential modules of study) which students taking part in the exchange will study at both Queen’s and the partner institution.
Schools should also follow the placement learning guidelines produced by CES when assessing a suitable exchange agreement and also undertake an effective due diligence/risk assessment of the external institution to assess status, pastoral support etc. A rationale for the establishment of the agreement should be forwarded by the School to the Global Opportunities Team.
The Global Opportunities Team will then engage with the School contact to assess the rationale of the agreement and determine if there is mobility in both directions. Normally agreements will apply to a set number of students over a five year period. The current role of the Global Opportunities Team is to comment on the agreement proposed by the School, assess its rationale and suggest changes where required. If no changes are required the agreement is forwarded to the Chair of the Collaborative Provision Group (CPG) for approval and signature. The Global Opportunities Team will also assess proposals/agreements sent in from external organisations seeking a student exchange agreement with the University.
The development of a student exchange agreement may be part of a wider International Partnership Agreement with one or more Schools within the University. Where this is likely to be the case, the Global Opportunities Team will liaise with Academic Affairs who will take the lead on developing an over-arching agreement. Schools should also consult the protocol for the development of an International Partnership Agreement. Where there is already an existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for a partnership or articulation in place, The Global Opportunities Team will draft an addendum to the existing agreement for approval and signature by the Chair of the CPG.
Upon approval of the Student Exchange Agreement or MOA addendum, the Global Opportunities Team will inform Student Records, Finance, the International Office, Academic Affairs, and the International Student Support Office. Relevant stakeholders will be informed to ensure the details of the students involved in the agreements are detailed on QSIS for enrolment purposes. The Student Exchange Agreement or MOA addendum will be reported to the CPG.
Student Exchange Approval Procedures - Erasmus Programme
The University holds an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) enabling Queen’s to participate in the Erasmus Programme during the period 2014-21. The Charter entitles the University to apply for funding for student mobility grants. A Bilateral Agreement must be signed with partner institutions before mobility takes place, using the template provided by the European Commission. The Global Opportunities Team produces and signs off Bilateral Agreements for Erasmus activity which Schools wish to maintain and/or establish.
Schools wishing to establish a new Erasmus Bilateral Agreement should complete the proposal form available from the Global Opportunities website. The proposal form should be completed by the named Erasmus Programme Director (EPD) for the School and must be signed off by the Head of School. It is the EPD’s responsibility to negotiate the terms of the exchange with their academic counterpart at the partner university in the first instance. Student exchanges are expected to be reciprocal and agreements should only be established if there will be outward mobility from Queen’s. On receipt of the proposal form, and based on the information therein, the Global Opportunities Team will draw up and sign off a Bilateral Agreement and send it to the partner university. The signatory for Erasmus Bilateral Agreements is the Erasmus Institutional Co-ordinator in Global Opportunities. Bilateral agreements are normally established for a three to four year period, with a review process instigated by the Global Opportunities Team before the end of that period.
Faculties may wish to establish their own procedures for oversight of these agreements, including regular review of relevant Partnership Management Plans where these have been established, at Faculty level, to support ongoing implementation.