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International Agreements Guideline

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Guideline provides supplementary information and directions for good practice in relation to the development and review of international agreements and is complementary to the International Agreements Procedure.

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Section 2 - Consultation and Approvals

(2) Additional consultation and approval is required for certain types of agreements.

Student Mobility

(3) Additional consultation and assessment is required prior to a proposal being submitted to Global Partnerships, as set out below. Prior to a proposal being submitted to Global Partnerships, the following must occur:

Coursework Exchange

(4) Faculty completes proposal document including a coursework Exchange Checklist.

(5) Faculty sends proposal and checklist to the Senior Manager, Experiences and Evaluation, and the Director, Student Enrichment and Employability Development, for review and endorsement.

(6) Proposal and coursework Exchange Checklist sent to the Faculty Executive Dean for consideration and endorsement.

(7) Recommendations from Faculty and Student Enrichment and Employability Development sent to the Manager, International Agreements to facilitate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) consideration of proposal and approval.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Mobility (Includes Collaborative Supervision, Joint PhD, HDR Exchange)

(8) Specific questions need to be addressed as part of any proposal involving PhD activities that will be presented to the Graduate School. The proposal must:

  1. Clarify how the partnership will align with Faculty/Institute and UQ Global Strategy for the specific country and indicate what other priority partners the Faculty/Institute already has agreements with.
  2. Have the support of the Faculty/Institute Executive Dean/Director with clear funding implications costed out. It is recommended that consultation occur with the Faculty Engagement Manager.
  3. Indicate how the success of the partnership will be measured and what key outcomes are anticipated.
*Initiators must recognise that bespoke/thematic agreements, particularly those with funding attached are not necessarily supporting university wide engagement and emerging areas of engagement need to be formally approved and added.

(9) Proposal sent to the Faculty Executive Dean or Institute Director for consideration.

(10) Faculty Executive Dean or Institute Director recommendation sent to the Dean, Graduate School for consideration.

(11) If endorsed, the Dean, Graduate School sends the proposal to Manager, International Agreements to facilitate the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) approval of proposal and to develop agreement documentation in consultation with the Graduate School.

Study Abroad

(12) Academic/Professional staff member to consult with Future Students Directorate prior to completing a proposal form. If the Study Abroad arrangement is supported, a proposal form is completed and signed by the Director, Future Students who endorses and forwards to the Manager, International Agreements who will facilitate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) approval of proposal and to develop agreement documentation.

Recognition of Prior Learning (Articulation/Credit) Arrangements and Double Degree Programs

(13) Recognition of Prior Learning programs and double degrees facilitate the enrolment of students from a partner institution into a UQ program with credits. Students will be awarded the UQ degree on completion of the necessary units at UQ, and in some cases the partner institution award. Some double degree programs can also facilitate the enrolment of UQ students into a partner institution program with credits.

(14) Proposals need to:

  1. Confirm that consultation/notification has occurred with relevant areas of UQ (i.e. Faculty Associate Dean (Academic), International Admissions section).
  2. Address checklist articulation questions (see forms) in order to identify program specifics about credit granted, including notification if the UQ degree program is to be reviewed during the course of the agreement.
  3. Consider other policies governing recognition of prior learning and credit transfer arrangements (e.g. Recogniton of Prior Learning Policy and Collaborative Academic Program Arrangements Policy).

(15) Proposals need to be approved by the Executive Dean or Institute Director and sent to the Manager, International Agreements for processing and facilitating further approvals if required.


(16) Scholarship agreements are usually entered into with overseas government funding bodies and ministries. Prior to submitting a scholarship proposal to Global Partnerships, the following must occur:

  1. As part of consultation and analysis, the agreement initiator must first consult with the Manager, Sponsored Students Unit (SSU), regarding the proposed scholarship arrangement.
  2. The Senior Manager, SSU will advise the agreements initiator who they need consult within UQ if required.
  3. The Senior Manager, SSU will also supply written guidance on the research that the agreement initiator needs to conduct prior to entering into a scholarship agreement on risk analysis, regional and political analysis, objectives and benefits of the agreement, financial commitments, administrative management and terms and conditions of the scholarship.
  4. The initiator completes the proposal form and submits it to the Senior Manager, SSU for review and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) for approval.

Transnational Education (Includes Joint Awards)

(17) The initiating Faculty/Institute must follow due process in obtaining approval of the program (via Committee for Academic Programs Policy and Academic Board). A proposal, along with evidence of Vice-Chancellor approval of the program is submitted to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships). The drafting of the agreement/contract would be managed by UQ Legal Services with instructions from International Agreements team and the initiating Faculty /Institute.

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Section 3 - Types of Agreements

(18) The International Agreements team has developed a range of agreements in consultation with Legal Services that can be utilised to meet the most common forms of cooperation with international partners. The common types of cooperative activities provided for on template agreements include:

  1. International Cooperation Agreement (refer definitions);
  2. Memorandum of Understanding (refer definitions);
  3. Letter of Intent (refer definitions);
  4. Stand-alone Agreements (refer definitions):
    1. Student Mobility Agreement – a document that enables the exchange of undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students between UQ and a partner institution for one or two semesters.
    2. Study Abroad Agreement - a document that formalises the arrangement for a partner institution to send students who enrol as non-award students at UQ for one or two semesters on a tuition fee-paying basis.
    3. Recognition of Prior Learning (Articulation) Agreement – a document that formalises the progression of students from a partner institution to UQ detailing the completed or partially completed award at the partner institution to be credited to a UQ award. The agreement also documents the required study at UQ in order to obtain the UQ award.
    4. Double Degree Agreement - a document that enables the progression of students from one institution to a partner institution detailing a course of study that upon successful completion, results in two separate awards being conferred from the two institutions.
    5. Higher Degree Research Exchange - a document that enables the exchange of higher degree research students for up to 12 months between partner institutions.
    6. Collaborative Supervision Agreement - a document that enables the mobility of higher degree research students between partner institutions, to undertake a research project jointly supervised by both institutions, where the students spends a minimum time of one year over their award enrolled at the host institution.

(19) If a different or specialised agreement is proposed, the International Agreements team will work with the initiator and Legal Services to draft a bespoke agreement. 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.

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Section 4 - Standard Processing Timelines

Action Timeframe
Proposal Form for an International Agreement received in in UQ Global Partnerships

Recorded on database

Reviewed (and additional advice sought if required)

Forwarded to PVCGP(if applicable) for approval
approximately 2 weeks
Proposal reviewed and approved by PVCGP up to 2 weeks
Initiator notified of proposal approved outcome if International Agreements team commence work on the draft agreement within 1 week
Consultation on draft agreement (internally) within 1-2 weeks
Consultation on draft agreement (with partner) 1 month +
Signing of agreement at UQ by PVCGP - within 1 week
Signing of agreement by partner organisation 2 months +, depending on partner's response and partner's internal processes
*Timeline for bespoke agreements will take longer to prepare and negotiate.
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Section 5 - Definitions, Terms and Acronyms

Term Definition
International Cooperation Agreement a legally binding document that enables the parties to engage in any one or more of a number of collaborative activities detailed in a separate agreement.
Letter of Intent a document that foreshadows the range of activities that might be developed between parties and is used as a signal that the negotiations are proceeding in good faith.
Memorandum of Understanding typically a non-legally binding document that sets out the parties’ commitment and intentions to collaborate with the intent that separate agreements will set out specific terms and conditions.
Stand-alone Agreements documents that are independent of any other agreement and are used for regular international activities (e.g. Student Mobility, Study Abroad, Recognition of Prior Learning)