Accreditation and external partnerships
The University actively engages in collaborative arrangements with partner institutions based in the UK and at many located overseas. Such arrangements are formalised through a process of negotiating and approving a variety of arrangements.
The University has created a clearly defined set of procedures for the approval of such agreements. The guidelines are set out in the relevant sections
Heriot-Watt University engages in collaborative arrangements with partner institutions based in the UK and overseas. The University has primary and ultimate responsibility for academic standards and quality across all its provision. It works collaboratively with other bodies whose roles include accreditation, licensing and regulation in the UK and overseas. Read more about accreditation process.
Approved learning partnerships
In an approved learning partnership (ALP) arrangement, HWU retains responsibility for the curriculum, learning outcomes, assessment, award, approval of all teaching staff and all quality assurance matters and the Partner is responsible for providing local support and teaching of specific Heriot-Watt programmes of study. Graduates are awarded a HWU degree certificate.
Read more about approved learning partnerships.
An articulation partnership is a particular form of formal credit rating and transfer agreement between two institutions. The partner’s programme of study will provide suitable preparation and certified evidence of students reaching the appropriate academic standard to articulate at a pre-defined point of entry to a HWU programme. Graduates are awarded a HWU degree certificate.
Read more about articulation partnerships.
Joint collaborative partnerships
JCPs are particularly complex in nature and require a great deal of negotiations to initiate. The University has a JCP agreement template which can be used but it is likely that amendments will be required to incorporate the partner's own legislative requirements. Read more about joint collaborative partnerships.
As JCPs usually involve the development of a new, bespoke programme, please note that the programme itself will require approval by the University Studies Committee before the partnership agreement can be taken forward for approval by senior officers.
An exchange agreement is an arrangement between the University and a non-UK higher education institution to accept students onto each other's programmes for a period of time – usually one academic year – with the credit gained usually contributing to the overall award. Read more about exchange agreements.
Industrial partner agreements
An arrangement with industry or a business organisation to enable students to undertake a period of work-related learning. Read more about industrial partner agreements.
Memorandum of understanding
A Memorandum of understanding (MOU) is often used as the starting point of partnership negotiations. An MOU is a document which demonstrates an intention to commit to a more formal partnership in the future (such as those listed above). It is important to note that an MOU is not legally binding and as such it differs from a memorandum of agreement (MOA) which is an umbrella term for ALPs, JCPs and articulation partnerships.
If you are considering a memorandum of understanding, please contact Academic Quality in the first instance for advice and a template document.