The University operates a range of partnerships in relation to its taught course provision. These include arrangements with employers for the delivery of work-based learning and with other universities for study abroad. Visiting lecturers and guest speakers from outside organisations may be used.
Five formal categories are identified for collaborative provision with other educational or training institutions.
- Validated courses, taught by a partner institution leading to a University award. Within this category ‘subject networks’ may be developed where a number of partners collaborate to offer the same course. Students belong to the partner institution and have the status of Associate Students of the University.
- Franchised courses which are designed by the University and taught by a partner institution. Students belong to the University as Affiliate Students. Students at an Affiliate College abroad are known as Ulster University Overseas Students. Staff who teach and assess are accorded Recognised Teacher status.
- Joint courses, where the University offers a course in conjunction with one or more other institutions, and where typically, students undertake elements of the course at the University and the partner(s). (There are usually equal contributions.) Students belong to all institutions.
- Outcentre provision, where the University uses the premises of another organisation to deliver all or part of the course. In addition the University may also contract with the institution to use its staff to teach or otherwise support delivery. (Accredited provision by employers is a sub-set.) Students belong to the University. Those at an outcentre abroad have the status of Affiliate Students in the sub-category of Ulster University Overseas Students. Staff who teach and assess are accorded Recognised Teacher status.
- Articulation arrangements, whereby the University enters into a formal agreement with another institution to recognise a specific qualification of that institution as meeting part of the requirements for a University course, thus enabling admission with advanced standing.
This table summarises the operational implications of each category.
The University records information on each link in a collaborative courses register which is available here.
A Partnership Handbook describes policy and procedures for the initial recognition of institutions and their re-approval, and for the approval, management and monitoring of courses in more detail. See also Programme Approval and Programme Revision and information on the Quality Enhancement site.
For validated and franchised courses, an initial strategic assessment of prospective new partners is undertaken for consideration by the University's Senior Leadership Team. The Team must have determined that the link is in the University's strategic interest before course proposals are developed. An institutional visit is made. The Quality Enhancement Unit manages the process of institutional approval.
Faculty Partnership Managers are appointed as the identified link between the Faculty and partner institutions and they co-ordinate provision of subject-specific advice with other Faculty staff where appropriate. Contact details are available here. A Collaborative Partnerships Forum meets on a regular basis.
For franchised courses, the Faculty Partnership Manager has an oversight role but the Course Director and course committee for the home and partner course maintain close links.