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Policy on Academic Partnership Establishment and Renewal

1. Purpose

1.1 This policy is to support the University’s evaluation of a potential or an existing partner in learning and teaching leading to a University of Liverpool (UoL) degree award so as to secure high-quality teaching and learning opportunities outside of XJTLU for the enhancement of student learning experience.

1.2 This document provides a formalised due diligence process as well as a structured review and approval process with a view to assessing the qualification of a new partner and whether the arrangements with a potential partner are suitable and whether the programmes delivered under the arrangements with an existing partner are continued suitability.

1.3 The process provides an opportunity for the University to establish and assess any risks associated with the proposal. The outcomes of the due diligence process will enable the University to determine whether identified risks can be mitigated against, or will deem the proposed partnership sufficiently high risk to render it unviable.


2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to the learning and teaching partners who will or will continue to involve in the delivery of the XJTLU programmes leading to a UoL degree award which should reach equivalent learning outcomes as mapped against corresponding modules or programmes of XJTLU.

2.2 This policy specifically considers the risks associated with the partnership. The process of ensuring that the learning outcomes have been appropriately mapped is covered by the terms of reference of the University Curriculum Review Panel.

2.3 The learning and teaching partners in this document refer to Higher education providers, enterprises, governmental organisations, or other domestic or international organisations.


3. General Principles

3.1 It is essential to evaluate the strategic fit between the proposed partner and the University. The collaboration should contribute to the University's Education Strategy and the academic unit’s (hereinafter referred to as AU) objectives.

3.2 In the circumstance that the partner is a higher education institution, it should normally be ranked in the top 150 in Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings or the top 150 in QS World University Rankings by Subject or equivalent.

3.3 In the circumstance that the partner is an enterprise, it should normally be a company listed in the Fortune Global 500 or a recognized pioneer in the relevant industry.

3.4 The originating AU has the responsibility to conduct the due diligence and risk assessment, and collect and review the supporting document list (Appendix 3) as evidence. Mitigation measures should be undertaken to minimize the risk. In the case of health and safety matters, consultation with Health and Safety Affairs Office (HSAO) should be evidenced in the application form.

3.5 Measures should be put in place to ensure data protection and information security.

3.6 The renewal procedure of a partner should follow the same principles and approval process for a new partner. The effectiveness of cooperation should also be evaluated by outlining the rationale for the extension of the partnership, evaluating the previous arrangement, and collecting student feedback.


4. Initiation and Approval of a New Partner and New Collaboration

4.1 To review and assess the qualification and capability of the proposed partnership, the originating AU should initiate the application and obtain approval from the University following the approval process (Appendix 1).

4.2 The Application Form for Establishment and Renewal of Academic Partnerships (Appendix 2), in which the information about the proposed partner institution, proposed collaboration arrangement, and risk assessment are included, should be completed by the originating AU and approved by the respective School Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) or equivalent before it is submitted to the University Learning and Teaching Committee (ULTC) for review and approval. Where the collaboration is learning and teaching-related, the outcomes of ULTC will be submitted to UoL for final approval by the Senior Leadership Team via the Due Diligence Panel.

4.3 Where the proposed collaboration involves student mobility, the originating AU should work with relevant parties to conduct module mapping and submit it to ULTC for approval through University Curriculum Review Panel.

4.4 To ensure the proposed learning and teaching activities could commence in time, contract preparation could concur whilst approval activities are ongoing, although no contract will be signed until full approval is granted. Following the approval of a partner, the contractual agreement can only be signed off by a senior member of the University, normally the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Learning and teaching activities cannot take place until the contractual agreement is signed by both parties.

4.5 For new collaboration with an existing approved partner on learning and teaching, further review is required to ensure the facilities and resources are commensurate with the requirements for the subject area. An additional appendix elaborating on the new learning and teaching arrangements shall be added to the contract. The approval of extending the scope of the partnership should be conducted at the AU level and submitted to ULTC for endorsement and reported to UoL annually.


5. Periodic Review of Partnership

5.1 Any issues with the cooperation with the approved partners and responding actions should be reflected in the Annual Programme Review (APR). The review process should be repeated if the partner undergoes any major changes, i.e., fraud, poor reputation of delivery/ research/ management. The Education and Quality Assurance Office (EQA) will annually report new partnerships leading to UoL awards to UoL through Academic Quality and Standards Division (AQSD).

6. Consultation

6.1 Where there are any questions on the approval processes, advice can be sought from the EQA.



1. Approval Process for Academic Partnerships
2. Application Form for Establishment and Renewal of Academic Partnerships
3. Supporting Document List

(Last Review Date: 11 Jul 2023)


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