Guidelines on how we select new territories and partner institutions are available. After initial consideration by the relevant host Faculty and International Partnerships Manager , the application process for prospective partners comprises two stages: firstly, approval of the partner, and secondly, approval of the programme(s).

New partner approval process

New partners must gain approval as offering an appropriate institutional environment for the delivery of higher education before they can be considered for collaborative delivery of a University of Greenwich award. Proposals for new international partners may relate to an entirely new partnership; a new branch of an established partner under central management; or, a new branch of an established partner with an autonomous management structure. The criteria for approval are based on the strategic aims of the University of Greenwich:

Essential Criteria

  • Collaborations with UK-based partners should meet demand for higher education in the UK.
  • Collaborations with overseas partners should raise the University's international reputation.
  • Collaborations should generate income for all partners, and support the diversification of the University's income.
  • Collaborative programmes must be delivered in English.

Desirable Criteria

  • Research and consultancy activities could be developed as a result of the collaboration.
  • Staff development activities on campus and at partners are supported.
  • Ideally collaboration ought to be located within existing geographical 'nodes'.
  • Collaborations could be part of an existing network of collaborative partners.
  • Multiple Faculties should be involved or have the potential to be involved.

The case for a new partnership is considered by the Partner Scrutiny Panel (PSP), which reports to the Academic Planning Committee (APC). All approved partnerships are kept under review by PSP and are subject to periodic review.

Prior to the PSP meeting - Preliminary steps

  • Exploratory discussions should take place, involving the International Partnerships Manager and the relevant Faculty Director(s) of Partnerships
  • Possible initial 'scoping visit' to the external institution may take place, and the prospective partner may also visit Greenwich
  • If the partnership is believed to be worth pursuing by both institutions, an exchange of information (including outline of procedures and information about likely costs and programme-level fees) will take place. At this stage, a Memorandum of Understanding may sometimes be signed at the request of the proposing partner; this simply signals the intention of both parties to discuss a possible partnership.

PSP Scrutiny is then undertaken in two stages:

First Stage

  • The New Partner Preliminary Rationale (PSP1) is completed by the host Faculty and the Partner Context Document (PSP2) is prepared by the prospective partner. The PSP2 is an opportunity for the prospective partner to describe why it wishes to collaborate with the University and to give a suitable context/understanding of its status and mission etc. When both documents are ready, they are submitted to PSP by the host Faculty.
  • Following scrutiny of this documentation, PSP either declines the proposal or agrees 'in principle' that the partnership be approved, subject to further scrutiny. If the decision is to proceed in principle, PSP identifies an appropriate 'Link Manager' at either Faculty or institutional level, to act as the primary liaison with the prospective partner throughout the approval process. The Link Manager is responsible for advising the partner on remaining documentation, processes and drafting of the memoranda.

Second Stage

  • If the proposal is permitted to proceed to the second stage, the Link Manager then completes and submits the following additional paperwork for a subsequent meeting of PSP:
    • i) New Partner Due Diligence Report (PSP3). Note that for the addition of a new site/campus under the central management of an established partner, no Due Diligence Report is required.
    • ii) If so requested by PSP, the Link Manager may also be required to complete, or coordinate completion of, a New Partner Site Visit Report (PSP4).
    • iii) New Partnership Support and Risk Management (PSP5), which provides an opportunity for the Faculty to reflect upon the findings of the previous documentation, with an emphasis on risk management.
  • PSP is convened and scrutinises the documents, and the relevant Faculty Director(s) of Partnerships is/are also required to attend the meeting. PSP explores aspects of the proposal with the host Faculty representative(s) and has the option of virtual or face-to-face engagement with partner representatives. If any substantial problems seem to emerge, additional information is requested for clarification and/or another meeting arranged for further discussion with the prospective partner/host Faculty(ies).
  • If PSP concludes that there is insufficient evidence or it has unresolved concerns, it may request further information in respect of the partner and its resources.
  • If it is agreed that the proposal meets University of Greenwich requirements for teaching in an HE environment, PSP recommends to APC that the new partnership be approved.
  • If PSP concludes that the proposal does not meet the aims of the University of Greenwich or that there are significant shortfalls in the teaching environment and resources, it recommends that the partnership proposal be declined.

After the PSP meeting

After the meeting, the PSP Executive Officer prepares a brief report for the Academic Planning Committee (APC) summarising PSP's discussion and recommendation. APC considers the recommendation and, providing it endorses it, submits it to Academic Council and Council makes the final decision about whether to approve or to decline. The Link Manager communicates Council's decision to the prospective partner.

  • After this, the International Partnerships Office prepares the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) and Financial Memorandum (FM). Agreements are normally subject to five-yearly review, with the potential for re-appraisal of the partnership by either of the institutions. Details relating to specific programmes will be added later as Appendices to these Memoranda once individual programmes are approved for collaborative delivery.
  • If the partner has been approved by Academic Council, proposals for collaborative programmes with this partner can then be presented to APC for authorisation.