Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I find out if an agreement already exists with a particular institution?
- UCLA’s International Institute maintains an online database with records of all known international agreements and institutional partners (http://mou.international.ucla.edu).
- The website contains general information about the agreement and identifies a faculty contact.
- Please contact the faculty coordinator directly or contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on a specific agreement.
2. When is it appropriate to use the general MOU template?
- The MOU template is designed to meet the needs of most faculty and academic units seeking to acknowledge an international partnership.
- The template allows the faculty to identify a set of activities that will be explored with the foreign institution in more detail in the near future – including student exchange, faculty visitation, joint conferences, research projects and the like.
- The MOU, however, clearly stipulates that the signed agreement does not any way indicate a commitment of funds, staffing, or facilities at that point.
- The MOU may be signed by a dean, an ORU director or the University Librarian. Please review Policy 980 for more information.
3. What is the process for generating an MOU?
- The link "Initiate an Application" will take you through the steps necessary to generate an MOU for signature. Policy 980 states that these MOUs may be signed by deans, ORU directors or the University Librarian.
4. What is the process for initiating a new international exchange agreement or a supplementary agreement to an existing MOU?
- Please follow the link from "Initiate an Application" and select the type of process you wish to initiate. The online form will gather the necessary information to begin the discussion and negotiation of a new or supplementary agreement.
5. What if a representative from a partner institution has already presented an MOU document for UCLA’s signature?
- It is not unusual for a visitor to arrive on campus with a standard agreement from his/her institution “in hand”. We strongly advise deans and faculty to utilize the campus approved MOU template in these instances, rather than sign the other institution’s document. Even though there may not appear to be any real differences between the two documents, the general MOU has been vetted by Campus Counsel and contains approved language and disclaimers. There may be some delay if the other party insists on using their own document. It is essential that campus officials have time to review and, if necessary, modify the agreement. It is neither wise nor appropriate to expect UCLA to respond without taking time for due diligence.
6. What is the difference between Study Abroad and Student Exchange?
- Student exchange programs involve a reciprocal exchange of students over time. While most exchange agreements specify a 1:1 exchange of students between UCLA and the partner institution, there might be instances where a different ratio is specified. Student exchanges always involve a commitment of resources on the part of both UCLA and the international partner institution. Student exchange relationships generally specify that UCLA students will pay fees here and the study abroad, while the international exchange students pay fees on their home campus and study here. Please carefully consider the implications of student exchange agreements – they rarely benefit UCLA in that it is often the case that more foreign institutions wish to study here than our students wish to study abroad. Thus, there is often an economic and faculty workload imbalance that results from unequal sharing of students.
- Unlike exchanges, study abroad programs, whether faculty-led or institution-based, involve sending students abroad and do not involve a commitment of university resources. Please be aware that MOUs are not generally required for student-initiated activity of this nature. Information about existing UCLA student exchange and study abroad is available at www.international.ucla.edu.
7. How much financial detail should be provided in an International Exchange/Linkage Agreement?
- Any financial obligations - including tuition support benefits, teaching or research assistantships, travel expenses, housing, medical insurance coverage, or maintenance allowances - must be specifically stated in the agreement. If no such commitments are intended, a general provision should make this clear.
8. Who is responsible for administering the iniatives outlined in the International Exchange/Linkage Agreement?
- The academic unit at each institution responsible for the implementation and management of the agreement must be specifically identified in the agreement. The UCLA academic unit specified in the IE Agreement (not the International Institute or the Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Relations) will be responsible for the administration and implementation of an agreement.
- The academic unit is also responsible for obtaining commitments from relevant campus entities for the allocation of resources in support of the agreement – including office space, staffing, funding for exchanges of visiting scholars or students, tuition waivers, health and liability insurance, travel expenses, housing, and the like.
8. For what period will the MOU or International Exchange/Linkage Agreement remain valid?
- In most instances, a period of five years is sufficient for implementation and evaluation of the proposed affiliation and projects. All MOUs and International Exchange Agreements must state that the agreement will be reviewed prior to the expiration date to determine whether it will renewed in its current form, modified, or allowed to expire.
9. Should there be a foreign language version of the agreement?
- UCLA academic units should be sensitive to providing an opportunity for the other institution to produce a second-language MOU or International Exchange Agreement equivalent to the English language version. It is the responsibility of the initiating academic and/or administrative unit to provide appropriate translations of draft agreements. However, it is essential that any and all second language translations be reviewed and approved by campus language translation experts.