Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Office of the Vice-Chancellor

Executive Summary

On 23 May 2006 Professor Derek Gardiner, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, was requested by the Vice Chancellor to chair a Working Group to develop a policy and strategy for International Programs and Relationships.  This Working Group was asked, amongst other things, look at:

  1. Formal institutional approval and endorsement of international agreements, Memorandum of Understandings (MOU's) format, content (both desirable and non desirable) and 'institutionalization' mechanisms for ensuring compliance with all policies.

  2. Guidelines: In line with the above, guidelines and templates will be developed to guide staff and administrators seeking to enter into international agreements, affiliations, MOU's and other contractual arrangements in the area of international programs and relationships.

  3. Standardized documents covering for example, Agreements of Friendship and Cooperation, Implementation Plans, Student Exchange Agreements and Study Abroad Programs.

  4. International student marketing and recruitment. Recommendations on what kinds of relationships we should target, and with whom, and to what extent exclusively (as incentive for development) would be worthwhile.

  5. Website for standardized documentation, processes and other information relevant to international programs and relationships.

  6. Central record for all agreements, MOU's etc in relation to international programs and international relationships - as well as the proposed means for upkeep and updating.

Any staff who would like to have input in relation to this exercise should contact Professor Gardiner

The working group comprised: Professor Jeffrey Born, Dean, Faculty of Business and Economics; Dr. Tracy Berno, Head of Tourism/Hospitality; Mr. Walter Fraser, Registrar; Professor Bob Hughes, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Law; Ms Litia Konusi, Student Academic Services; Dr. Pa’o Luteru, Dean, Faculty of Islands and Oceans and Dr. Julie-Anne Tarr

The following changes and additions to policy and procedure are recommended.

  1. That an International Collaborations Approval Group (ICAG) is established to provide the necessary focus, advice, screening and procedural regulation.   In addition ICAG, through the Registrar’s office, would maintain a Central Register of agreements and related documents and oversee the provision of web based template documentation and guidelines.

    ICAG Membership (Period of office 2 years renewable)

    Chair (member of SMG appointed by the Vice Chancellor)
    Co-options up to 3 as required

  2. Outline Agreement Approval Process
    Establishment of a MoU, formal agreement or implementation plan must not be progressed beyond verbal expressions of interest without agreement by the Dean and with permission to proceed from ICAG.  Permission to proceed will be sought using standard documentation.  Typically a Faculty, School or Department representative then initiates the agreement process by working collaboratively with a partner institution using the appropriate standard USP template, or an acceptable (ICAG approved) document from the collaborating establishment. Procedure to be followed and examples for facilitating this process are set out in the Guidelines.

  3. Collaborations and agreements may involve the following:
    Student exchange.
    Academic and research staff exchange.
    Programme/course articulation arrangements including on-line delivery and franchising arrangements.
    Special International arrangements (e.g. sporting and cultural exchanges and visits) and including contractual arrangements with agents.

  4. General criteria for the establishment of International University agreements
    Collaborations should only be pursued with prestigious institutions which will support or add to the standing of USP.
    Collaborations must provide tangible benefits to USP and advance USP toward achieving its academic mission.
    Collaborations ideally will provide University – wide opportunities.
    Collaborations must at least be financially neutral unless supplemented by a third party.
    Exchanges – staff or student, must be based on demonstrable reciprocity.

    Would the partner(s) enhance or detract from the possibility of forming other strategic partnerships?
    Ensure that If adopted, whether the MOU would conflict with any previously agreed arrangements?

  5. International Collaborations Approval Group
    On behalf of the Vice Chancellor of USP, ICAG must review all international collaboration proposals. Once a draft agreement for MoUs and Implementation Plans has been agreed upon at the Faculty level or the equivalent of both institutions, it should be sent to ICAG for review and approval.  ICAG will at that stage notify the Vice Chancellor’s Office of the draft documentation.  ICAG may require the Faculty to consult with other relevant campus authorities and to obtain any consequent necessary approval.  Following final approval by ICAG, the agreement document will be submitted to the Vice Chancellor’s Office for authorization.

  6. Vice Chancellor’s Office
    Final approval must be through the Vice-Chancellor’s office however, it is important to note that the VC is not necessarily the signatory of the agreement. There must be clear sighting and approval by the Vice-Chancellor before the University is committed to international agreements and relationships. The equivalent person on both sides of the affiliation should sign the agreement at the level of Dean, Vice Chancellor, or other delegated authority in the collaborating institution.

Derek J Gardiner (for the working group)
October 2006

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