Global Partnerships

Developing Partnerships

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Steps to the successful development of a university partnership

If you are embarking on establishing a partnership with another university the steps outlined below are intended to assist clarifying if the partnership will work for both universities. We have outlined some considerations and steps that will help initiate and steer initial discussions.

Further guidance on the type of template required for individual partnership proposals, and assistance in completing them, is available from

    • 1. Shared understood goals

      The main common goal is agreed by stakeholders at both universities. This is the most important step. Once both partners agree on the common goal it can shape how the partnership can develop.

    • 2. Identify the type of partnership

      The type of agreement will impact the effort involved in developing the partnership and determine the approval process and the level of ongoing monitoring and approval that will be required. For a list of partnership types, you can visit the university secretariat’s page where the required stages and levels of approval will be determined by the nature and level of assessed risk attached to each type of partnership.

    • 3. Identify risk

      A risk matrix is available on the university secretariat’s website that outlines the level of risk associated with the partnership type.

    • 4. Approvals

      The risk associated with the partnership will determine the level of approval required. Global partnerships will require strategic approval (UMT GEG) and if they impact a UCD programme they will recquire academic approval from governing boards.

    • 5. Agreement

      UCD's Global Partnerships team will advise and determine the correct agreement and can provide template drafts and guidance. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) may be signed by the authorised signatory, UCD's President.
      Generic templates are also available for:
      - Letter of Intent
      - Study Abroad Agreement
      - Student Exchange Agreement - Non-EU
      - Student Exchange Agreement - ERASMUS

    • Important considerations

      Confirm that the partnership is built on trust, effective communication and ongoing demonstration of the relationship as well as the sharing of benefits, respect and fairness.
      Reflect on the cultural context during all phases of the partnership, from initial negotiations to monitoring and maintenance of the relationship.
      Be aware that partnerships and the priorities of partner universities evolve over time.

Tips for maintaining successful university partnerships

  • Review of the number of existing partnerships, their output and their activeness
  • Ensure clear management of the implementation of existing partnerships
  • Seek to increase the breadth of partnerships that have the potential to have more impact
  • Ensure partnerships align with UCD’s global engagement strategy and UCD’s overall strategy
  • Delegate responsibility for developing and implementing partnerships to relevant personnel at the school or college level
  • Work with UCD Global on the evaluation of partnerships, their intended and actual output and their strategic relevance to your college/ school

Contact Global Partnerships

As Ireland’s Global University, UCD seeks to develop and support partnerships with other institutions, governments and research agencies around the world. It does so in support of its Global Engagement Strategy and to underpin the fundamentally collaborative nature of the university’s core missions in teaching and learning, and research and discovery. UCD Global plays a key role in supporting UCD’s global relations and partnerships, working collaboratively with the University’s senior management, Colleges and Schools to develop strategic international relationships and networks for the long term.

The UCD Global partnerships team supports the development of bilateral and multilateral partnerships, securing external funding where possible. For a list of our current university partners, please search our directory here.

Please email if you are interested in exploring a global partnership.