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General guidelines on collaborative provision

Different types of collaborative arrangements exist, with varying levels of involvement and provision by the collaborative partner. Collaboration may simply be though the provision of accommodation, but may also extend to placements, study abroad, or providing lecturers and formal assessment. These guidelines are designed to give an idea of the kinds of issues that should be considered if a Department, Faculty or other University institution is contemplating participating in collaborative educational activities.

It should be borne in mind that collaborative activities are inherently more risky than provision made by one institution. Quality assurance expectations are therefore more rigorous for collaborative provision, particularly where a collaborative partner is an overseas institution. The University will expect to see a clearly set out legal Memorandum of Understanding between all institutions involved in the collaboration.

The fundamental principle underpinning all collaborative arrangements is that the University, as the degree-awarding body, has ultimate responsibility for academic standards and quality of provision, regardless of where provision is made or who provides it.

Developing proposals for collaborative learning

Initial consultation

Course Organisers should discuss any proposal for collaborative provision with their designated Education Quality and Policy Liaison Officer at an early stage.

Legal Services should also be consulted at an early stage on the terms of formal agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) with the partner institution which should:

  • clearly articulate the lines of reporting and responsibility for assuring the quality and standards of the teaching provided;
  • clarify arrangements for student support and other learning facilities and consideration of student complaints;
  • detail mechanisms for the resolution of any disagreements between the partners;
  • include an exit strategy should the collaborative course close.

External guidance and legislation

Before proceeding with drafting any proposal for collaborative activities you should read in full the Quality Assurance Agency's Advice and Guidance on Partnerships.

The General Board's Education Committee will wish to assure itself that appropriate attention has been paid to this guidance before considering any proposals.


Collaborative Postgraduate Education

At its meeting of 30 June 2021, the General Board's Education Committee approved a Framework for Collaborative Provision of Postgraduate Education.  This document aims to:

  1. Clarify the approaches for collaborative arrangements at postgraduate level; 
  2. Facilitate the development of such arrangements in a strategic manner; 
  3. Assist staff in monitoring and evaluation of existing collaborative arrangements.  

Queries on the Framework should in the first instance be addressed to: