What types of partners are we looking for?
The University Strategic Partnerships Unit (USPU) will use the following criteria to determine the synergies and fit of new applications to become a partner of the University of Derby:
A. Strategic Alignment
- The partner will be able to demonstrate their strategic alignment with the mission of the University and its over-arching values that puts students at the heart of everything it does. Partners should evidence how they would support the strategic aims of the University.
- The University is expressly interested in exploring collaborations that include the development of Dual Degrees, Progression and/or Articulation agreements. Applications for Franchise, Validation and Accreditation models may also be considered based upon their merits.
- The University will require the Partner to provide evidence in the form of market intelligence to support any proposed developments.
- The Level of risk associated with the future collaboration will be measured and only if our assessment concludes that the risk is manageable will the partnership will be progressed.
B. Quality Indicators
- The Partner should be able to evidence that it has appropriate quality assurance mechanisms in place (as tested by Ofsted, QAA or other inspection reports,) and/or a willingness to adopt our processes.
- It is expected that the Partner will possess significant demonstrable experience of working with a Higher Education Institution (if possible UK based). The Partner should ideally also maintain accreditation from an external body such as Pearson/Edexcel, Ofsted, QAA or other such international equivalents.
C. Financial Performance
- The Financial health of the Partner will be assessed, to include a review of the Partners audited accounts for the most recent three years and / or independent credit checks.
- A costing plan will be produced to assess the commercial viability of the proposed collaboration, this will include analysis of the initial setup fees, programme fees, minimum student numbers, minimum fee income and periodic partnership review fees.
- The University will seek from the Partner a proposal regarding the expansion and growth of its provision within the partnership. The Partner will therefore be asked to evidence how it would meet these growth expectations and that such growth is both realistic and sustainable.
- Evidences of progression routes opportunities to our higher level provision would be an advantage. (e.g. from your institution’s qualification to our top-up degrees)
D. Legal Standing
- The Due Diligence process will also check the legal standing of the partner and its ability to enter into partnership arrangements.
E. Ethical Considerations
- The University supports an ethical approach to its partnership developments and reference will be made to the ‘Transparency International Corruptions Perceptions Index’ and ‘Freedom in the World’ Political Rights and Civil Liberties Index as part of the due diligence process.
- The University has a duty of care to ensure that any proposed collaboration would not place an unnecessary financial burden on the Partner. As such the Partner will be asked to evidence its ability to meet any proposed financial obligations associated to the proposed collaboration.
- The proposed Partner’s location should align with the University's strategic priorities.
G. Reputation and Standing
- The University recognises the value and importance placed on leagues tables as an indication of the current standing of the proposed Partner. A review of such league tables will be undertaken to ascertain if the institution and/or its subject areas feature in local, national and international league tables.
- The University may consider partnerships for niche subject areas as part of its strategic vision, subject to the support of the respective Dean(s) of the University College(s).
- Site visits of the Partners facilities will be undertaken as part of the University’s due diligence processes to ensure that sufficient and suitable resources (both physical and human) are available to support the proposed provision. Where additional resources might be required to support the collaborations current and future needs, the University will make it a condition of any resultant agreement that such resourses must be in place by a date agreeable to both parties.
I. Type and Scale of Partnership
- In the case of a collaborative partnership (franchise, off-campus, validation and accreditation), there is an expectation that the proposed enterprise would stand at not less than 200 students studying under the partnership after the first three years of such an agreement with not less than 50 students per programme and with strong evidence to suggest student numbers will continue to rise.
- The University is keen to develop Dual degree partnerships where there is strong evidence to suggest that Derby students would support and benefit from such arrangements and that these would contribute towards the internationalisation of the students learning experience.
- For Progression and Articulation arrangements, the University will support such applications where there is evidence to suggest that the students of the Partner institution would apply to and welcome the opportunity to complete their studies at University of Derby. The University’s College(s) and its International Recruitment Office will support such arrangements with not less than two visits to the partner institution per academic year, for the purpose of assisting students with their programme decisions.
J. Cross-College application
- Partnership proposals that span multiple University Colleges will be considered favourably.