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Agreements and Partnerships with Institutions Abroad

Guidelines for Developing International Academic Cooperation Agreements

1. Introduction

An international Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a document that outlines cooperation between Boise State University and an institution of higher education or organization outside of the U.S. At Boise State, these agreements typically take the form of: 1) MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding), which are signed by the President and, 2) Addendums to the MOU, which are typically signed by the Provost. These agreements are signed to forge new collaborations that will create mobility opportunities for Boise State students and complement, rather than compete, with the existing agreements in place.

While all agreements are university-wide (as opposed to college or department-specific), faculty interested in developing a partnership with a university overseas should discuss the type of cooperation they would like to initiate with the respective Department Chair, Dean, and the Assistant Provost for Global Education. With the spirit of complementing existing partnerships, it may also be helpful to review the map of Boise State’s current partner universities to determine whether Boise State already has an affiliation in the proposed country. If the proposed partnership contemplates student exchanges (inbound and outbound mobility), it will help to review the page of programs currently available to Boise State students.

2. General Guidelines

  • A general cooperation agreement, also known as a MOU, typically states Boise State agrees to cooperate with a partner university in global academic initiatives that will be outlined in specific agreements. MOUs must be approved by the Center for Global Education and the Office of General Counsel prior to sending for President’s signature.
  • All academic initiatives that will be proposed with the partner university should be explicitly articulated in an Addendum to the MOU. Addendums are approved by the Center for Global Education and the Office of General Counsel prior to sending for Provost’s signature.
  • Boise State has MOU and Addendum templates, which when used help to speed up the approval process. Please contact the Center for Global Education if you wish to see a template. However, if partners from the international university wish to use their own template, we can accept them but the review process will take longer.
  • If the Addendum involves bilateral student exchange agreements, proposals must consult with Global Learning Opportunities. Approval is based on the following criteria:
    • It complements- and does not duplicate- existing Boise State study abroad offerings.
    • There is documented student demand for the proposed destination.
    • The destination is safe for Boise State, as shown in Level 1 or Level 2 in the Department of State travel advisory and CDC travel recommendations.
    • It involves benefits, which will increase the likelihood Boise State students will participate.
    • Anticipate exchange balance. Balanced number of students are anticipated to study at the proposed partner university relative to the number of students who will join Boise State.
  • Since COVID, we are processing agreement signatures electronically.
  • Boise State recommends that all new agreements have a duration of 5 years. Upon expiration, the two universities can always renew their agreement.
  • All new agreement/partnership proposal should be submitted using this form.
  • For institutional records, agreements are stored in three divisions: 1) Provost Office, 2) Office of General Counsel and 3) Center for Global Education.

3. Considerations for Developing University Partnerships

  • What is the specific type of cooperation of interest? 1) general academic cooperation; 2) student exchanges and mobility; 3) faculty exchanges and mobility; 4) credit articulation program; 5) Other.
  • Will Boise State students realistically study at the proposed destination? For example, is there documented interest in the destination; can students study in the language of the host country; does the institution teach in English; do the academic calendars between Boise State and the proposed university match; is there curriculum compatibility?
  • Are there any safety and health considerations for our faculty and students with respect to the location of the partner university? Have you reviewed the U.S. State Department or a CDC travel advisory for the location?
  • If the Addendum involves exceptional considerations relative to international admissions standard requirements or processes for inbound international students, please consult with International Admissions. The guidelines and requirements for international admission can be found on the International Admissions website.
  • If a bilateral student exchange is proposed, Global Learning can provide feedback and recommendations on the following topics:
    • How does the proposed partnership complement the current Boise State study abroad offering?
    • Language of instruction and intensive language/culture programs available for Boise State students; English language proficiency/skills of students at the proposed partner university.
    • Anticipate issues of exchange balance. Will a similar number of students come to study at Boise State relative to the number of students who will study at the partner university? We often receive more incoming students than Boise State students wish to go out.
    • What opportunities for cultural immersion are offered at the proposed partner university?