International Agreements: Guidelines


Florida Atlantic University has several dozen active international agreements with universities and educational institutions around the world.  Agreements create access for FAU students and faculty to study, conduct research, or teach in other countries.  Agreements also allow students of our partners to take classes at FAU as non-degree students, or in some cases to enroll for degree seeking purposes.  Other agreements provide for the exchange of services and technical training opportunities.   In short, many different types of projects can be included in international agreements to meet the parties’ unique needs and interests.  

Partnerships with overseas universities with comprehensive academic offerings, which can mirror or complement FAU offerings, are particularly attractive since they offer the potential to meet the diverse academic and student needs of multiple colleges  and students studying across many different fields.   A broader student pool for an exchange will make it easier to send students abroad and thus to balance an exchange within an agreement’s mandated time fame.  Comprehensive international university partners also offer the promise of occasional logistical help for other kinds of academic cooperation (such as short term study abroad lead by FAU faculty).

From time to time it is also valuable for FAU to enter into a general memorandum of understanding or “MOU”.   A general MOU is a positive statement of interest between two parties to explore partnership activities with another university.  An MOU does not express a binding commitment to any specific activity, but rather a serious intention to explore identified interests.   MOU’s are not encouraged unless there is clear intent to implement an actual project of exchange and/or other academic activities in the near future, where the execution of the MOU will foster that action.   An MOU that contemplates the prospect of student and faculty teaching exchange must be supported by the college(s) interested in exploring this activity.

The Office of International Programs (OIP) assists FAU colleges and faculty in locating promising international partners and in the design, creation, execution, and implementation of international agreements and MOUs.  All resulting activity must advance a strategic academic goal of a sponsoring FAU college and/or be determined to be of value to FAU.  All agreements must adhere to FAU policies in regard to academic credit, overseas and on-campus study, agreement financing, and the periodic balancing of exchanged activities.   Agreements must also follow applicable requirements mandated by the Principles of Accreditation administered by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Approval processes include any relevant FAU college deans, OIP, FAU Office of Legal Counsel, and the Provost’s Office.  OIP coordinates the process and advises on the steps needed to create viable exchange activities, written agreements and MOUs.  OIP finalizes the MOUs and agreements and forwards them to the Provost for approval.  Agreements can only be signed by the President or a member of the Board of Trustees.  Once executed the relevant college(s) coordinate all academic aspects of the agreement in conjunction with OIP, and OIP coordinates all administrative aspects of the agreement including allocation of any available and applicable tuition waivers and the periodic balancing of exchange activity.

This website also provides further information on the various types of MOUs and agreements FAU supports, a checklist on what is needed in a proposal for a new agreement, and a brief profile of FAU for potential oversees partners.  Early contact with the OIP Director Dr. Catherine Meschievitz (561-297-1039 or cmeschie@fau.edu) is strongly encouraged.

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 Last Modified 8/26/12