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How to Establish a New Affiliation or Exchange

The Office of International Education (OIE) is the department at CU-Boulder that is responsible for overseeing the establishment of written agreements with overseas institutions for educational exchange activities. We will help departments, schools, and colleges establish successful international relationships and are the first level of support for exchanges.

Exchange agreements may be implemented for a variety of reasons. They may be general documents needed by governmental authorities in some countries to allow faculty travel abroad. They may be useful in some countries for obtaining funding in support of cooperative research projects. They are required for the active exchange of students between CU-Boulder and a non-US institution. They range from simple documents signed on the occasion of an honorific visit of a university delegation to formal student exchange agreements with many levels of approval and support needed.

There are five basic types of formal affiliations:


Honorary Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)

Description and Content of Agreements

These are fairly generic, usually containing only a declaration to cooperate, some generic comments on the value of the two institutions, and a statement of intention to do something more specific in the future if both parties agree.

Review and approvals needed at CU-Boulder

  • Informational approval through OIE
  • University counsel approval (if the parties use the template approved by university counsel, the approval process is quick and straight-forward)
  • Signature by the Chancellor or Provost

Timeline

Dependent on time of year; such an agreement can be approved in as little as a few days. Non-standard language requires additional time for review.


Cooperative Research Memoranda of Understanding

Description and Content of Agreements

These are also fairly generic. They are similar to Honorary Memoranda of Understanding with the addition of a section explaining the focused area of research that is intended between the two institutions.

Review and approvals needed at CU-Boulder

  • Informational support through OIE
  • Review and approval of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The process is described here: http://www.colorado.edu/vcr/establishing-cooperative-research-memoranda-agreement.
  • Please be sure to familiarize yourself with Research Integrity and Regulatory Compliance standards, including Export Controls. You can find information on this subject here:  http://www.colorado.edu/vcr/export-controls
  • If funded research, approval by the Office of Contracts and Grants
  • University counsel approval (if the parties use the template approved by university counsel, the approval process is quick and straight-forward)
  • Review and approval by the Office of the Provost
  • Signature by the Chancellor or Provost

Timeline

Dependent on time of year; such an agreement can be approved in as little as a month. Non-standard language requires additional time for review.


Student Exchange Agreements

Description and Content of Agreements

These are very specific. These agreements contain all of the generic information of the honorific agreement, but also include very specific language regarding quality of students, enrollment requirements, recruitment of students, nature of items exchanged (tuition, fees, room & board, etc.), balance of the enrollments over time, clear language regarding the prohibition against degree candidacy, and a “sunset clause.”

Review and approvals needed at CU-Boulder

CU-Boulder parties who would like to propose a new student exchange must submit a proposal to OIE. Before beginning a proposal, we entreat you to read our Exchange Proposal Information and Checklist. You can download the student exchange proposal form here:

<Proposal form for a new student exchange>

<Sample exchange agreement>

Review and approvals needed at CU-Boulder:

  • Proposal review by OIE
  • Review and approval by the Study Abroad Committee (the academic oversight committee for all study abroad programs)
  • Review and approval by the Office of the University Counsel
  • Signature by the Chancellor or Provost

Timeline

Due to the complex nature of inter-institutional negotiations over academic, financial, and administrative details, a timeline for the approval of a university-wide agreement for the exchange of students is difficult to predict but generally takes an academic year to complete. Legal, risk management, academic, and administrative reviews are each time consuming steps and the process must be managed carefully.


Dual Graduate Degree Agreements

Description and Content of Agreements

These are very specific. They include language regarding the responsibilities of each university regarding student enrollment and performance requirements, services to students in the degree program, and each university's responsibilities to the other.

Review and approvals needed at CU-Boulder

  • First step: Meet with the Dean of the Graduate and the Director of the Office of International Education (or their designated representatives)
  • Review and approval by the Dean of the Graduate School
  • Review and approval by the Office of the University Counsel
  • Signature by the Chancellor or Provost

<link to sample dual degree agreement>

Timeline

Due to the complex nature of inter-institutional negotiations, a timeline for the approval of an agreement for a dual degree program is difficult to predict but generally takes an academic year to complete. Legal, risk management, academic, and administrative reviews are each time consuming steps but are necessary to ensure the quality and sustainability of the dual degree program.


X+Y Degree Program Agreements

Description and Content of Agreements

These are very specific. These are for programs in which students start a degree program at a partner university (for 'x' number of years) and complete the degree program at the other partner university (for at least 'y' number of years).

Agreements for these programs include language regarding the specifics of the arrangement including the particular academic disciplines covered and transfer requirements for the students in question. They also include an addendum that spells out the specific course requirements at each institution and how these equate to courses at the partner institution.

Review and approvals needed at CU-Boulder

  • Proposal review by OIE
  • Approval by the Dean of the School or College
  • Review and approval by the Office of the University Counsel
  • Signature by the Chancellor or Provost

<link to sample x+y degree agreement>

Timeline

Due to the complex nature of inter-institutional negotiations, a timeline for the approval of an agreement for an x+y degree program is difficult to predict but generally takes an academic year to complete. Legal, academic, and administrative reviews are each time consuming steps but are necessary to ensure the quality and sustainability of the program.