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Category Administration and Management
Type Policy
Approved by University of Otago Council, 10 July 2007
Date Policy Took Effect 1 August 2007
Last approved revision 6 November 2014
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible officer Manager Policy and Compliance


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for establishing partnership arrangements with other tertiary institutions in New Zealand.

Organisational scope

This policy applies to the whole University.


The range of simple collaborations includes:

  1. allowing an Otago paper to be delivered by the staff of another institution
  2. including a paper owned by and delivered by another institution in an Otago qualification
  3. an Otago qualification that is delivered partly or entirely both by Otago staff and by the staff of another institution

More complex collaborations include

  1. a qualification awarded jointly by Otago and another institution
  2. an Otago qualification delivered entirely by the staff of another institution (franchising)
  3. the qualification of another institution delivered by the staff at Otago (Otago as the franchisee)

The Universities New Zealand Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) Functions and Procedures Handbook provides full definitions for:

  • jointly awarded university qualifications
  • jointly awarded qualifications (involving a provider other than a university)
  • articulation agreements (between NZ providers)
  • twinning arrangements with an overseas tertiary provider
  • franchising
  • exchange agreements

The definitions are available here:


  1. Preliminaries

    1. It is important:
      1. to ensure that the University enters into strategically appropriate arrangements with approved partners/institutions only, in accordance with University academic policies and standards,
      2. that its actions conform to the requirements of CUAP, and
      3. that its actions conform to the requirements of the Tertiary Education Commission.
  2. Nature of inter-institutional collaborations

    1. In all cases it is necessary for a formal agreement to be in place between Otago and the other institution. A co-educational agreement will be required in all cases where another institution is actively involved in the teaching of at least one paper and/or programme which will lead to an award of this University. More complex collaborations will require more detailed agreements.
    2. The Planning and Funding Office of the University provides guidelines on the Tertiary Education Commission requirements in respect of partnership arrangements.
  3. Principles and fundamental requirements

    It is expected that any co-educational agreement made between the University of Otago and another partner will conform to the following principles.

    1. Principles of partnership
      1. The University will collaborate with educational institutions of standing, approved by Senate on a case by case basis, to deliver academic papers and/or programmes that meet the standard set and expected by all students admitted to the University.
      2. The University will support articulation arrangements with institutions of appropriate quality.
      3. The University of Otago retains control over programmes offered in its name.
      4. University of Otago papers and programmes are subject to University of Otago quality assurance processes, assessment policies, teaching and learning polices, are taught by persons approved by the University of Otago, and are subject to academic directions set by the University of Otago.
      5. The University will not regard as its own those papers and programmes of study offered and taught by a partner institution.
    2. Academic requirements of partnership
      1. Where a programme of study offered by another institution leads to a University of Otago qualification, it must be of a standard and quality equivalent to that offered by the University itself. The University will ensure the equivalence of the standards and quality through the use of its internal quality assurance processes.
      2. Where an Otago programme of study is offered by another institution the University will require evidence that it can be, is being, and continues to be delivered at a standard and quality equivalent to that offered by the University itself. The University will establish monitoring processes to ensure that this is the case.
    3. Other requirements of partnership
      1. Proposals for partnership programmes must demonstrate relevance to the University's strategic goals and objectives, and must be seen to enhance the University's reputation nationally and internationally.
      2. All partnership proposals must comply with national codes and legislation, and all relevant regulatory requirements affecting both the University and the partner. This includes CUAP and NZQA approval and accreditation processes.
      3. All partnership proposals must conform to the procedures established for academic proposals within the University, and meet the same criteria for approval.
      4. All partnership proposals must conform to the relevant requirements of the Tertiary Education Commission, as confirmed by the Planning and Funding Office.
      5. All partnership proposals must outline the arrangements for claiming funding and student fees and any other payments, and these must be consistent with the relevant University requirements.
  4. Process

    The process to be followed for the establishment of a co-educational partnership agreement is identical to that for any proposal for a new paper or programme, with the addition of an initial stage.

    1. Before an academic proposal is submitted a report should be written on the following matters.
      1. In relation to the partner(s)
        • The academic credibility of the proposed partner.
        • The financial viability of the proposed partner.
        • Student support and welfare and grievance/dispute resolution procedures available in the partner institution.
      2. In relation to the partnership
        • The management structures and roles and responsibilities of all partners.
        • Costing and fee details including fee split, management fees or royalty payment, responsibility for covering expenses/loss etc. (All direct and indirect and overhead costs must normally be covered by revenue from the programme.)
        • Responsibility for marketing, advertising etc., including the use of logos (i.e. joint badging for marketing purposes).
        • The extent to which Otago University academic and/or general staff will or will not provide support to students enrolled at the partner institution.
        • Whether or not teaching staff at the partner institution are to be regarded as Otago University staff.
        • Ways that University and third party intellectual property will be protected to ensure that all copyright issues have been addressed.
        • Arrangements where appropriate to charge third party licence provisions especially those relating to Library and/or IT resources.
        • The Quality Assurance and risk management processes to be applied during the term of the relationship with a partner, including a predefined review period and a termination clause.
        • A plan indicating at what stage students will be admitted and enrolled at the University. (In some cases, students may be admitted and enrolled at the partner institution on the understanding that credit will be given toward the University of Otago degree. This is an articulation arrangement.)
        • The status of the partnership with regard to Tertiary Education Commission requirements.
      3. On receipt of this report the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) will or will not recommend that an academic proposal be submitted.
    2. An academic proposal will be submitted in accordance with the normal Approval Process for New Programmes, New Papers, and Amendments to Regulations and Prescriptions. Proposals must have the appropriate sign-off on internal resource issues including appropriate consultation and agreement with the Library, ITS, and other service areas. Once the proposal has the approval of the appropriate Divisional Board, it should be forwarded to the Board of Undergraduate Studies or Board of Graduate Studies as appropriate for consideration.
    3. Following academic approval by the Senate, a formal co-educational agreement can be prepared for the Vice-Chancellor to sign.
    4. The agreement must be signed by all the parties concerned before the initiative can proceed to implementation.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

The Manager
Policy and Compliance

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