View current

International Agreements Procedure

This is the current version of the approved document. You can provide feedback on this document to the Enquiries Contact - refer to the Status and Details tab from the menu bar above.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Procedure outlines the processes required for establishing and managing partnership agreements with International Partners.

(2) 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).

(3) This Procedure applies to UQ staff involved in:

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

(4) 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 Procedure and are subject to the Administration of Research Funding - Applications, Grants and Contract Research Policy and the Consultancy, Secondary Employment and Internal Work Policy.

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

Types of Agreements

(6) Collaborative international partnership agreements can engage UQ at a University-wide, Faculty, Institute, or other division 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.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Process and Key Controls

(7) Before proposing a new International Agreement, UQ staff must consider:

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

(8) Proposals to establish an International Agreement must be developed in writing using a Proposal Form for a New International Agreement (see clause 11).

(9) UQ staff must consult Global Partnerships and seek the required approvals (outlined in clauses 16-17) prior to committing UQ to any International Agreement.

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

Top of Page

Section 3 - Key Requirements

International Agreement proposal

(11) 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:

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

(12) 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.

(13) Descriptions of these agreements are provided in the appendix (section 7).

(14) Further information about additional consultation and approvals is provided in the International Agreements Guideline.

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

Proposal Approval

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

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

(17) The International Agreements team will arrange for endorsed proposals to be progressed to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) 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.


(18) 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.

(19) Refer to the International Agreements Guideline for types of agreements.

Executing an Agreement

(20) International Agreements must be executed in accordance with UQ’s Delegations Policy and Financial and Contract Sub-delegations Procedure. In accordance with the Schedule of Contract Delegations and Sub-delegations, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) has delegated authority to sign International Agreements.

(21) The International Agreements team arranges for the execution of International Agreements between UQ and partner organisations.

Monitoring and Review of Agreements

International Agreements

(22) 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.

(23) The Global Partnerships Office will conduct a formal annual review of expiring agreements and require the responsible Faculty, Institute or Division to:

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

Student Mobility Agreements

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

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

Review Reports

(26) A summary of the review report recommendations will be presented to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) for endorsement and approval.

(27) Agreements under which there has been little, or no activity should be reviewed.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

UQ International Agreements Team

(28) 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:

  1. providing UQ staff with policy and procedural advice on establishing International Agreements;
  2. conducting research relating to institutional partners;
  3. 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;
  4. conducting an annual review of UQ’s International Agreements; and
  5. assisting with high-level reports and maintain a database of the UQ’s international engagement agreements.

UQ Staff

(29) UQ staff must comply with this Procedure when seeking to establish an International Agreement involving UQ, including consulting the International Agreements team and Global Partnerships early in the development phase of any proposal.

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

(30) 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.

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

Top of Page

Section 5 - Monitoring, Review and Assurance

(32) The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) 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.

(33) 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.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Recording and Reporting

(34) The International Agreements team is responsible for reporting to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) on all International Agreements.

(35) 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 Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships).

Top of Page

Section 7 - Appendix

Definitions, Terms and Acronyms

Term Definition
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 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 Recognition of 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 by 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 Contracts or agreements with a foreign entity, including foreign:
    (i) Universities, higher education or research institutions;
    (ii) Governments and their agencies; and
    (iii) Sponsors, scholarship providers and corporations,

that document intended or required co-operation and other activities by the University and the foreign entity that are:

• Contracts and Agreements about:
    (i) Undergraduate and postgraduate student exchange and study abroad;
    (ii) Higher degree research supervision and mobility;
    (iii) Academic and professional staff mobility;
    (iv) Pathway articulation;
    (v) International scholarship and sponsorship; and
    (vi) General academic and research collaboration, provided that:
          (a) 'research collaboration’ agreement above, means an overarching, non-binding agreement or arrangement that does require the, payment or receipt of money or other valuable consideration or the actual undertaking of research; and
          (b) International Agreements exclude Research Agreements made through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation)'s Organisational Area.
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 An assessment process that involves assessment of an individual’s relevant prior learning (including formal, informal and non-formal) to determine eligibility for admission, credit and/or exemptions.
Refer to Recognition of Prior Learning Policy
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 usually via Erasmus+ funding.
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 The delivery of degrees in a country or territory other than that where the awarding provider is based.