Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the Staffnet siteSearch StaffNet
Search type

Collaborative Arrangements and Advice during and after the Covid-19 pandemic

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the University made some essential interim changes to its current process for the approval of new partners and to its current processes for the monitoring and review of existing partners. 

The changes are set out as follows and are due to be reviewed during 2022/23:

Approval of potential new partnerships

On being presented with a proposal for a potential new collaborative partnership, the principles of the University’s current approval processes for new partnerships should remain the same.

The University wishes to continue considering new partnerships, but if a new partnership proposal is presented and this is given approval to proceed to the next steps by the Vice President (Teaching, Learning and Students), in exceptional circumstances, arrangements may be made with the proposed partner for the University’s approval panel to receive documentation covering topics which would normally be discussed during the site visit as well as engaging in virtual meetings and tours.  In addition, the University may wish to see the proposed partner’s risk planning and management of transitions to remote learning, financial planning etc. 

The Vice President (Teaching, Learning and Students) may consider approval via one of the following routes:

  • Full approval and a Memorandum of Agreement entered into for five years with no need for a follow up physical visit. Or;
  • Approval for a period of one or two years in the first instance.  Before the initial approval period comes to its end, a review with physical visit should take place (assuming travel restrictions permit) and the review panel would either make the recommendation to then enter into a five year agreement or not.

Periodic and Institutional Review

The principles of periodic review at an established validated partner will remain the same and will follow the existing University guidance.  Other models of collaboration such as joint delivery and joint awards will continue to be considered as part of the respective University School’s review process.

All collaborative partners regardless of the model of collaboration are subject to an institutional review as this is the process by which the University seeks to establish whether the rationale for the collaboration remains valid; whether the collaboration remains aligned with the University’s strategic vision and whether the collaboration remains appropriate in the context of the University’s commitments.  For validated partners the institutional review runs in conjunction with the periodic review as the institutional review process culminates in the re-signing of a new five year Memorandum of Agreement with the partner.

If an established partner is scheduled to undergo a periodic or institutional review, then a blended approach of desk-based review and virtual panel discussion should be considered.  The institutional review template agenda, and if appropriate the periodic review template agenda, would be used as a basis and starting point for this documentation. 

Further advice on this can be sought by contacting

Collaborative Academic Advisers at validated partners

All validated partners are allocated a Collaborative Academic Adviser who play a key role in helping the University to manage the standards and quality of programmes at validated partners.  The Collaborative Academic Adviser should conduct an in-person or virtual visit via an online platform to the partner and meet with relevant staff during each semester (or more should it be felt that there are particular areas of concern).  The same will apply to attendance at Examination Boards.

Collaborative Academic Advisers will be expected to submit their annual report and Exam Board Report to TLD as normal.

Further advice on any of the above processed can be sought by contacting