Developing an Memorandum of Understanding

Developing an Memorandum of Understanding

This procedure is designed to be used by University of Glasgow staff intending to develop an MoU with an international institution.

What is an MoU?

A Memorandum of Understanding is used to show intent of collaboration without yet committing to specific activities. It does not, technically, represent a binding agreement but often signals the intention of working towards one.  It should be considered a formalisation of a relationship, and often provides an opportunity to agree mutual goals and intent.  Consequently, the quality of the institution with which the MoU will be signed is important and has to be considered, to ensure that it is suitable for the intended partnership and developments. >> Memorandum of Agreement: definition

Development /approval process for intended international partnerships

Step 1: reputational check / initial research

Reputational check

Is there a pre-existing University relationship?

Contact the International Affairs Team (IAT) in External Relations (ER) and ask them to complete an Institutional Feedback Form (IFF) on your proposed partner.

This form will establish

  • if the University has a pre-existing relationship and/or agreement with the intended partner or
  • if needed, provide additional reputational information on the intended partnership to check that it is a suitable relationship to take forward for the intended activity. E.g. the quality of a partner for student recruitment or articulation will be different from one where the intended purpose is the award of joint degrees.  

The International Partnerships and Policy Manager, or the International Recruitment Manager (External Relations) for the region in question will sign off the IFF (support or not). The signatory will then forward the completed form to the proposer.

Initial research

Before completing the MoU approval form (step 2), you should carry out some preliminary discussions to ensure that your proposed MoU will be suitable for consideration. Use this time to establish that the quality and reputation of the other organisation(s) is such that it is a suitable relationship to take forward for the intended activity. E.g. the quality of a partner for student recruitment or articulation will be different from one where the intended purpose is the award of joint degrees.

Academic staff 

If possible, check your initial ideas with 

Service staff

If possible, check your initial ideas with 


Step 2: complete MoU proposal form and obtain approval

Complete the MoU form

The proposer completes the MoU approval form.

Obtain approval signatures

Academic staff *

The Institutional Feedback Form (IFF) along with the completed MoU proposal form* should be signed off to certify that:

  • the relevant International Dean considers the quality and reputation of the intended partner(s) is appropriate for the intended activity.
  • the College International Lead confirms that the proposal is in alignment with College strategy and has the support of the Head of College.
  • a member of the College Executive (E.g. Head of School/Research Institute Director) signs to confirm that the proposal aligns with College strategy, and supports its development.

* Where the proposal is from an International Dean, the consultation should take place with the Vice Principal (Internationalisation). 

Service staff

The Institutional Feedback Form (IFF) along with the completed MoU proposal form* should be signed off to certify that:

  • the relevant International Dean considers the quality and reputation of the intended partner(s) is appropriate for the intended activity.
  • the Head of Service confirms that the proposal is in alignment with service strategy.

Signed forms

Submit signed MoU proposal forms to the International Affairs Team (IAT) 


Step 3: VP approval / if successful, External Relations drafts the MoU

External Relations International Affairs Team (IAT) complete this stage.

Final consideration from Vice Principal (Internationalisation)

The Vice Principal (Internationalisation) considers the MoU proposal form together with the Institutional Feedback Form (IFF) and, if appropriate, signs to confirm University approval.  If the proposal has a strong research focus, then the Vice Principal (Research & Enterprise) will be consulted.

External Relations drafts the MoU

If the proposal has full support, the formal MoU is drafted by staff in MaRIO's International Affairs Team using the standard University of Glasgow MoU template with input from

  • Academic Collaborations Office staff and
  • the College International Lead and or International/ Business Development Manager, as appropriate.  

Step 4: liaise with intended partner

If the form is approved, the draft MoU is then sent to the proposer. The proposer is responsible for liaising with the intended partner to finalise and seek approval for the content of the MoU*.

* Should the partner request any significant additions to or variations from the standard UoG template then the proposer should consult the International Affairs Team before the MoU is finalised.

Obtain signatures 

Once agreement on the content of the MoU is reached, it should be signed by the relevant UoG staff member (see table below) and the partner institution (2 copies, one for each institution). 

Type of activity Signatory

Recruitment
Articulation
Student exchange

A Vice Principal or delegated authority
Research collaborations

Vice Principal Internationalisation in conjunction with
Vice Principal Research / Innovation and Knowledge Exchange


Step 5: Return signed MoU to Academic Collaborations Office

A fully executed original of the MoU is sent to the Academic Collaborations Office.