How to sign international collaboration agreements with higher education institutions abroad

On these pages you will find gathered information about what different agreement forms Linnaeus University uses for its collaborations with international partner universities.

As from January 2014, the faculties have an increased responsibility for international collaboration agreements. The main principle is that university-wide collaboration agreements are handled by the office of external relations and signed by vice-rector. Collaboration agreements that are specific for a certain faculty, department or subject are handled by the person who has been appointed to be responsible for the agreement and signed by dean. Senior Internationalisation Officers at the office of external relations support the faculties in the development of new, and the revision of existing, international collaboration agreements.

In the document Regler för etablering av internationella samarbetsavtal [Regulations for the establishment of international collaboration agreements], Linnaeus University stipulates regulations for the signing of new international collaboration agreements and the evaluation of existing agreements with higher education institutions abroad. All international collaboration agreements entered by Linnaeus University, at overall level, subject level, department level or faculty level, are to follow the same quality assurance routines.

Agreement templates and quality assurance documents developed by the office of external relations are to be used for all international collaboration agreements. The quality assurance documents can be found in the column to the right. Agreement templates can be obtained from contact persons at the office of external relations or through the person at your faculty who is responsible for agreements. Contact information can be found at the bottom of this page.

If you have any questions relating to international collaboration agreements, please contact: intrel_AT_lnu.se

Overview for establishment of new and termination of existing international collaboration agreements

Type of agreement

Handling

Decision-making level/signing

Bilateral university-wide collaboration agreement

Office of external relations (ER)

Vice-rector

Bilateral collaboration agreement at faculty level, department level or subject level (1)

Faculty with support from administrator at ER

Dean

Erasmus Inter-institutional agreement (2)

Faculty with support from administrator at ER

Dean

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) university-wide

Administrator ER

Vice-rector

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) department level/faculty level

Faculty with support from administrator at ER

Dean

Double degree agreement

Faculty with support from administrator at ER

Dean and vice-rector (3)

Joint degree agreement

Faculty with support from administrator at ER

Dean and vice-rector

3+1 or 2+2 agreement

Faculty with support from administrator at ER

Dean and vice-rector

(1) A bilateral agreement is entered with auniversity that does nothold an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (i.e., outside the EES area and Erasmus+).

(2) Erasmus+ is an EU-funded programme for education, youth and sports.

(3) Since double and joint degree, 3+1/2+2, agreements contain an agreement on a degree from Linnaeus University, these agreements are to be signed also by the vice-rector.

Agreements

Below you can read more about what the different agreement forms involve, guidelines for the establishment of the agreements and information about practical procedures.

In the column to the right you will find supporting documents for writing agreements.

For questions relating to the writing of agreements, please contact the office of external relations on intrel_AT_lnu.se

Bilateral university-wide collaboration agreement

If more than two faculties are interested in a new bilateral collaboration agreement, the goal should be to reach a university-wide agreement. The office of external relations (ER) handles new and updates existing university-wide collaboration agreements. These agreements are signed by vice-rector.

Administrators at ER provide information about the potential partner university to the person at faculty in charge of agreements for an assessment of academic quality and possible areas of collaboration. The results are compiled in the document Evaluation of an exchange partner.

The collaboration agreement is to be signed by both parties before the start of the next academic year. In order for student places to be announced to students at Linnaeus University, the signed agreement, together with any enclosed documents, must have been received by ER by October 1 the year before the upcoming academic year. In order to be able to admit incoming exchange students, the agreement must be signed at the latest by September 1 for the spring term and by March 1 for the autumn term.

Bilateral university-wide collaboration agreement

Bilateral collaboration agreements between an individual faculty/department/subject (excluding Erasmus+ Inter-institutional agreement) at Linnaeus University and the equivalent at a partner university. The agreements are handled by faculty with support from administrators at the office of external relations (ER).The agreements are to be reviewed by administrators at ER before being handled as a dean's decision and signed by dean.

Erasmus+ Inter-institutional agreement

Mobility within Erasmus+ for studies and teaching assignments require an Inter-institutional agreement.The agreements are entered at subject level.

It is possible to enter an agreement for the entire programme period 2014/2015–2020/2021. It is recommended to write agreements for two, five or seven years. The shorter period is used for agreements with new partners and the longer period for agreements with existing/quality-assured partners. It is possible to rewrite, extend and/or add mobilities at any time.

The person signing the agreement is responsible for making sure that the mobility is feasible, both academically and practically (admission, accommodation, reception and general support). The office of student affairs is responsible for many of the practical parts; confirm with the office of student affairs that it is possible to receive students on a new agreement or to increase the number of students on an existing agreement. Contact inexchange_AT_lnu.se

Further information about the programme can be found on: http://www.utbyten.se/sv/Program-och-stipendier/Program-A---O/Erasmus-mobilitet-hogre-utbildning-/

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a term for simple declarations of intention, a framework for any future collaboration. The content is usually made up of general statements confirming that one wishes to establish a collaboration within a number of listed areas. These documents normally do not contain any specified conditions for the intended collaboration. In cases where a concrete collaboration is brought about, the special conditions for these collaborations are then regulated in specific collaboration agreements.

An MoU, which is a university-wide collaboration, is handled by the office of external relations and follows the same handling routines as a collaboration agreement. However, the quality-assurance documents are not required for the signing of an MoU.

An MoU that is specific for a faculty, department or subject is handled by the faculty, with support from administrators at the office of external relations (ER). If it concerns a bilateral collaboration outside Erasmus, ER can assist with support in the form of knowledge and experience about a region, alternatively specific universities. ER must review new bilateral MoUs.

Double degree agreement

Together with some partner universities there is also the possibility to work out a so-called double degree agreement in addition to the ordinary agreement. These agreements are normally entered at subject level. The agreements establish how students under certain circumstances have the possibility to obtain a bachelor's degree or master's degree (1-year or 2-year) from the receiving university and from Linnaeus University. 

The agreement regulates the conditions regarding how far the students should have come in their education at their home university in order to be considered for a degree from a receiving university. Normally, it is also established in the agreement what the students are required to study at the receiving university in order to meet the degree requirements at the partner university. In most cases this means to concretise what the student is required to study in order to be able to – after completing his/her studies – apply for a degree from the partner university; scope in ECTS/credits, any programme/selection of courses, subject specialisation, degree project, etc.

These agreements are handled by faculty and signed by the faculty's dean and vice-rector*. No template has been developed since each collaboration looks different, but copies of earlier double degree agreements can be found at the office of external relations (ER).

*Since double degree agreements contain an agreement on a degree from Linnaeus University, these are to be signed also by vice-rector.

Joint degree agreement

A joint degree programme does not have to lead to a joint degree but can instead lead to a common or double/multiple degree, recognised by all higher education institutions.

A joint degree is a degree issued jointly by at least two higher education institutions in one or more countries, based on an integrated degree programme, in accordance with each respective country's national legislation. Thus, the difference from a double degree is that for a joint degree, one degree is issued based on one programme that has been jointly developed by at least two involved higher education institutions.

In 2013, there were still very few developed joint degrees in Sweden adhering to all laws and regulations and at Linnaeus University we have not yet developed any joint degrees. There is an EU-funded project, The Joiman Network (Joint Degree Management and Administration Network), and a portal used for information about joint degrees and experiences gathered from working with these: www.joiman.eu

There are no developed templates for joint degree agreements at Linnaeus University since each joint degree looks very different. The development of a joint degree is work that requires a lot of resources during a long time; a time period of one and a half to three years before the programme can be offered is not uncommon. Therefore, it is extremely important that the department, from the beginning, also engages its faculty, the degree unit at the office of student affairs and the office of external relations. Also jurists need to take part from the beginning when an agreement for a joint degree is to be formulated.

These agreements are handled by faculty and signed by the faculty's dean and vice-rector*.

*Since joint degree agreements contain an agreement on a degree from Linnaeus University, these are to be signed also by vice-rector.

3+1 or 2+2 agreement

3+1 or 2+2 agreements are collaboration agreements dealing with incoming fee-paying students. The basic idea is that foreign students read part of their bachelor's education at their home university (for instance two or three years) and then finish their studies at Linnaeus University (one or two years), with the ultimate goal to be able to apply for a degree from both their home university and Linnaeus University. These collaborations concern students on a specific programme or within a specific subject.

Linnaeus University (programme/course coordinator) reviews the partner university's syllabus. Based on this, an assessment is made of whether the students live up to the prerequisites for studying part of their education at Linnaeus University and to meet our degree objectives for the Swedish programme. When this assessment has been done, an agreement can be signed. A 3+1 or a 2+2 agreement is handled by the person at the faculty who is responsible for agreements, in collaboration with programme/course coordinator and signed by the faculty's dean and vice-rector. Prior to signing, all 3+1 or 2+2 agreements are to be reviewed by the office of student affairs, degree manager and administrator at the office of external relations.

The agreement stipulates the following:

  • Selection of students from the collaboration partner.
  • Application to Linnaeus University
  • Payment to Linnaeus University
  • Degree from Linnaeus University
  • Practical parts for students, for instance, language skills, accommodation, visa, etc.

Template for 3+1 or 2+2 exists, contact intrel_AT_lnu.se

Agreement VFU/internship

Agreement template for organisation is intended to be usedbetween Linnaeus University and an organisation that is to receive an Lnu student on a VFU/internship.

Agreement template for student is intended to be used by each respective student going out on a VFU/internship.

Termination of collaboration agreement with partner university

Linnaeus University, or an individual department/faculty should consider terminating the collaboration or to end an exchange agreement if any of the following conditions are true:

  • Lack of mutuality
  • Lack of actual reciprocity
  • Evaluations showing bad results
  • No or insufficient activity/communication for a number of years
  • Breach of agreement
  • Students do not meet the necessary language requirements
  • Lack of information from the collaboration partner
  • Collaboration difficulties
  • Party from Linnaeus University is to inform the partner university well in advance regarding a termination of the collaboration, the time period in each respective exchange agreement regulating termination is to be taken into account.

Termination of university-wide agreements are to be decided by vice-rector.

Termination of agreements within Erasmus and bilateral collaboration agreements for a specific faculty, department or subject are to be decided by faculty following consultation with the concerned dean. This is then administered by the person at the faculty who is responsible for agreements.

Template for termination of agreements exists and can be obtained from the office of external relations (ER), intrel_AT_lnu.se 

 

Contacts for international collaboration agreements at the office of external relations

At the office of external relations, a process manager is in charge of the agreement work and four internationalisation counsellors have different regions for which they are responsible.

Camilla Lundqvist

Regional manager for Europe, southern Caucasus and Central Asian countries

Charlotte Skoglund

Process manager international collaboration agreements

Regional manager for Asia and South America

Ingela Åberg

Regional manager for North America (including Mexico)

Lena Kulmala

Regional manager for Africa (excluding North Africa)

Linus Karlsson

Regional manager for Oceania, the Middle East and North Africa

Stefan Lindkvist

Regional manager for Central America

 

Contact persons for international collaboration agreements at faculty (Responsible for agreements at faculty)

Elena Vinci Hytter

Faculty of technology

Andreas Poltan & Emmelie Hedin Ekholm

School of business and economics

Kim Carlborg (stand in for Cecilia Hartwich)

Faculty of arts and humanities

Maria Barath

Faculty of social sciences

Per Lundberg

Faculty of health and life sciences