Implementation, Monitoring & Review

The implementation of the collaborative arrangement is the responsibility of the sponsor School/RI in the same way as any other School/RI provision.

Similarly, the School/RI and College have responsibilities to monitor and review all collaborative arrangements. The level of monitoring and review is dependent on the nature of the arrangement but, as far as possible, they will mirror standard University processes (student feedback via questionnaires and Staff:Student Liaison Committee; Annual Monitoring; External Examiners and other forms of student engagement etc.). The monitoring of the financial arrangements is also vital to determine performance against the business plan and ensure that the partnership remains viable and cost-effective. Further information is outlined below.

  • To ensure that all matters are taken forward and in place for the commencement of the partnership by the due date it is strongly recommended that a specific individual at either School or College level should be responsible for supporting the post-approval implementation phase. If this is a separate appointment, it may be necessary to build this into the business case for the proposal so that appropriate resources are available to support the implementation phase. The Key College Contacts, Academic Collaborations Office and the relevant RIO International Officer and International Dean can also provide support and guidance during this phase.
  • Ongoing communication and dialogue with the partner will also be vital.
  • For most types of collaborative arrangement, an operational plan for Year 1 will also be required, which sets out clearly what the responsibilities of each partner are. This will be based on the Memorandum of Agreement but will be more detailed and will identify individuals. It is important to ensure that all the necessary arrangements are in place and the plan should be maintained and updated on an annual basis.
Collaborative Arrangements which Require an Operational Plan for Year 1
Distance Delivery (depending on role of partner)
Double/Multiple Degrees (Taught)
Hybrids
Joint Degree (Taught)
Joint Delivery
[Validation]
  • Where the collaboration involves in-country teaching by University staff there may be range of HR and employment issues that need to be considered and addressed depending on how that input will be managed (flying in for intensive periods of teaching; secondment and relocation of University staff; employment of in-country staff). You should contact your HR Manager at an early stage. Further information can also be found here

If staff from the partner institution are to teach/assess or new staff have to be recruited as part of the collaboration (either in-country or in the UK) then staff induction to the University’s academic policies, regulations and processes will be essential.

Year 1 Review

The first year review provides a mechanism to allow the University to monitor at an early stage and be confident that collaboration agreements and collaborative programmes are being managed and delivered as intended. Typically a review would be scheduled to take place at between 15 to 18 months after the first student cohort has started their studies.  This timing would enable a review team to consider the first annual cycle of delivery of the programme and is the same regardless of whether the programme is delivered on a full or part-time basis.

Collaborative Arrangements which Require a Year 1 Review
Distance Delivery
Double/Multiple Degrees (Taught)
Hybrids
Joint Degrees (Taught)
Joint Delivery
Other models of delivery with new partners
[Validation]

The ongoing monitoring and review for collaborative provision will be covered by the School / Research Institute (RI) / College monitoring processes in the same way as other University provision. On an ongoing basis it remains the responsibility of the School / RI to ensure that the learning environment is fit for purpose. Ongoing monitoring and review process include:

External Examiners

  • External Examiners have an important role to play in helping to assure the standards of awards delivered either in the UK or overseas through collaborative arrangements.  However, the External Examiner system is not common outwith the UK so it may be necessary to explain its purpose to partners.
  • It is good practice, where possible, to employ an External Examiner who oversees both the collaboration and a University programme within a cognate area even where there is no matching home programme. These External Examiners should thus be able to make judgements on the comparability of standards. If logistics mean that External Examiners only oversee a collaborative programme, then arrangements should be made for some sampling of home programme work by the collaborative external, and/or vice versa.
  • Externals need to approve the design of assessments in the same way as for home programmes and their attention should be drawn to any potential variations where they occur.
  • The University retains responsibility for the appointment and functions of External Examiners for all collaborative arrangements.

Joint Management Board

For certain types of collaboration, a Joint Management Board (JMB) will be established to oversee and manage the partnership.  JMBs have a relatively standard remit and composition, which includes reviewing student feedback and External Examiner and annual monitoring reports. The JMB should report at least annually to the relevant College committee (Learning & Teaching Committee or Graduate School Board or equivalent), highlighting positive features of the partnership plus any causes for concern.  The College will submit a composite report on its collaborative programmes to the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) based on these reports. 

Collaborative Arrangements with a Joint Management Board

Distance Delivery (depending on role of partner)
Double/Multiple Degrees
Joint Degree – Taught
Joint Delivery
[Validation]

Annual Monitoring

The annual review of collaborative provision should, as far as possible, mirror the University's normal processes.

Two main processes exist for the final review of collaborative provision. These are:

Review of Memoranda of Understanding

A procedure exists for the review of the University's Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). Recruitment & International Office play a key role in this. The process is summarised in the flowchart outlined below and further clarification of the procedures is available here.

MoU Diagram (December 2013)

Partnership Review

Partnership review is the process through which the University reviews and seeks to re-approve its collaborative provision partnerships prior to the end of the approval period. Collaborative arrangements are normally approved for a five-year period.  The review has both a retrospective and prospective context in that it provides an opportunity for a School and its partner to reflect upon the operation, management and development of the partnership and to also consider the future. Whilst the emphasis is on the strategic direction of the partnership, in reaching a decision concerning re-approval of the partnership the review will additionally take into account the management of the collaborative arrangements that underpin programmes.

Partnership review is distinct from the annual monitoring procedures. It considers the operation of the partnership at a higher level than that of the programme and the strategic development of the partnership.

Partnership Review Diagram (December 2013)

Further information can be found here.

Termination

There may be a number of reasons for wishing to terminate an academic collaboration or partnership, which may include:

  • end of natural life of the programme;
  • the business case is no longer viable;
  • a change in the University’s or the partner’s strategic priorities;
  • the programme ceases to be delivered at the University;
  • the School/RI no longer has expertise in the subject;
  • the School/RI or partner institution no longer has the capacity to deliver the programme(s);
  • programme re-approval or partnership review has identified reasons and concerns to end the collaboration;
  • academic standards and quality of the student experience are threatened and the partner institution is unable or unwilling to take remedial action;
  • political instability in the region;
  • evidence of serious concerns identified through feedback from:  External Examiner(s); Professional or Statutory body; QAA or SFC; or through the University’s annual monitoring processes.

Ideally, the decision to end an academic collaboration or partnership will be reached and agreed mutually by all partners, although it is recognised that this is not always possible. The procedures for terminating a collaboration or partnership are outlined below.  There are different pathways depending on which party instigates the termination.

  • Pathway A - where either the University instigates the termination or both parties agree to terminate.
  • Pathway B - where the partner institution requests termination.
  • Pathway C -  where the arrangement expires naturally.

Early contact should be made with the College Business Development Manager (BDM) and the Academic Collaborations Office for guidance on the termination procedure.  In the case of international arrangements, the Senior International Officer (SIO) in RIO should also be contacted. 

There are a number of principles that must be adhered to regardless of which institution instigates termination:

  • The students’ best interests are of primary concern and must be safeguarded in any plans.
  • The quality of programme delivery and associated academic standards must be maintained during the termination period.
  • The University of Glasgow’s reputation, both in the UK and in-country where appropriate, must be protected during termination planning and implementation.
  • All informal and formal discussions and decisions, whether internal within the University or with external partners or agencies, must be documented and held as part of the document trail.

The following also applies when either the University instigates the termination or both parties are in agreement.

  • Formal communication with the partner(s) regarding full or partial termination of a partnership must only be made after approval by the Vice Principal/Head of College.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) will set out the permissible grounds for termination, required notice period, any provision for the partner to rectify the problems and other legal requirements for terminating the collaboration or partnership.  It is, therefore, important to refer to and adhere to the obligations of the MoA.

A Termination Action Plan (TAP) has been developed to address the principles in 1.3 above and other issues relating to the termination and to help support colleagues during the termination period.  A TAP should be completed in all cases.

The Academic Collaborations Office can provide guidance on this procedure.

In the case of PGR degree arrangements, some of the steps outlined below may not apply.

Further information can be found here