A Global Community for International Education


How To Develop An Institutional Partnership

How can you really initiate a partnership with a prestigious university? It is not easy to find the right partner, but there are several steps you can take to properly develop a partnership with an international university.

Aug 01, 2021

International partnerships are key to the success of many top universities. Working with globally recognized universities and developing institutional partnership programs allow you to deliver high-quality, world-class degree programs.

But how can you really initiate a partnership with a prestigious university? It is not easy to find the right partner, but there are several steps you can take to properly develop a partnership with an international university.

Make plans based on your institutional goals

Strategically planning for international partnerships is crucial for any college or university. The first step is to develop an overall strategic plan for the institution as a whole. The partnership plan must still be in line with both of the institution’s goals. By doing so, it ensures that the partnership is still aimed towards the university’s mission and priorities.

Before creating a strategic plan, these questions should be carefully considered:

  • What are my institution’s strengths and areas for improvement?
  • What activities are practical for my institution?
  • How would partnerships benefit our university?
  • What could we offer to our institutional partner?

Assessing the state of internationalisation

Now that we've looked at how partnerships fit into the overall institutional strategy, we can now zoom in on internationalisation and how international partnerships can enhance the process of internationalisation. Understanding the university’s current state of internationalisation will help you identify the areas that may benefit from international partnerships.

Here are some questions that may help in analysing the institution’s state of internationalisation:

  • What are the current international collaborative partnerships of the university?
  • What made these current partnerships successful?
  • What are the existing policies and guidelines of the institution intended for international activities? 
  • What are the university’s objectives and goals with regard to internationalisation?

Identifying partners

After keeping every goal of the university in line, it is now time to choose a potential partner. Don’t know where to choose a partner? We got you covered! At ImmerseU, we have advanced networking filters you can use to choose the perfect partner for your institution.

But first, how do we identify potential partners? Just like what was previously mentioned, it is important to make sure that we are looking for an institution whose goals are in line with yours. This ensures that the partnership establishes growth for both of the institutions involved.

When assessing a potential partner, ask yourself:

  • What am I really looking for in a partner?
  • What type of financial commitment would this partnership entail?
  • How can this partnership benefit both universities involved?
  • What specific areas of my institution will benefit the most with this partnership?

Invitation for partnership

Now that you have finally chosen a partner, it is time to invite them! Send them a short message of intent stating the reasons why you would like to collaborate with them, and wait for their reply.

During the meeting, you would first discuss your goals and see how both universities can profit from this partnership. You may also start discussing potential activities for the entire program and how the partnership will be funded. Discussing these before starting an initial collaboration would make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Once everything has been settled, it is time to sign a Memoranda of Understanding or Agreement (MOU/MOA). The agreement consists of a list of concrete activities, the people involved, and the predicted outcomes of the program.

Starting an initial collaboration

After everything has been finalised, it is now time to officially start the partnership! You are all set to conduct all of the activities mentioned in the signed agreement. Good luck and have fun!

Ready to start your virtual course? 

Since everything will be done online, it is essential to also look for a good online platform where you can administer the activities in your program. With ImmerseU, you can provide your partnerships with secure, virtual collaboration rooms so that you can always keep an overview of your educational activities.


Grow your network with strategic partnerships. Connect with educators from around the world and help your instructors find collaboration partners. We've built a platform for administrators that will let you manage all your international partnerships in one place. Transform your internationalization efforts with ImmerseU.

By Suzanne Orzech, Chief Marketing Officer of Class2Class™

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