Academic Quality Procedures Handbook

10. Collaborative Provision

10.1 Policy on Collaborative Provision


1. This policy covers arrangements for educational provision leading to a Loughborough University qualification, or to specific credit toward a qualification, that is delivered and/or supported and/or assessed through an arrangement with a partner organisation.

2. The University also participates in other types of educational partnerships which are not covered by this policy.  This includes study abroad and instances where it is desirable to deliver part or all of a module off-campus, e.g. where students are able to access specialist facilities not available on campus.

Criteria for Entering into a Collaborative Partnership

3. A collaborative partnership will be considered only if it contributes to the achievement of the University's strategic objectives and can be achieved without detriment to the University's excellent reputation for learning and teaching. More specifically, proposals for collaborative partnerships must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • The partnership is intended to contribute to enhancing access and participation in higher education for underrepresented groups in the area local to a Loughborough University campus
  • The partnership contributes to the development of academic links with the partner organisation which will enhance the University's reputation for high quality teaching, research and enterprise.
  • The proposal strengthens an existing partnership.
  • The proposal is of sufficient scale and sustainability to justify the resource commitment required to develop, approve and maintain the partnership.

It follows that our objective will be to concentrate on creating and nurturing a limited number of strong, rich institutional relationships.

4. The University will normally consider collaborative partnerships only in disciplines in which it has subject expertise and the active and willing engagement of a University School in a cognate subject area is a normal prerequisite.  However, in the case of programmes meeting criterion 3(c) above, provision in other disciplines may be considered as long as appropriate subject expertise can be built into the partnership arrangements.

5. It is expected that staff in a partner institution teaching on an approved programme will be engaged in scholarship and keep up-to-date with developments in their subject.

Types of Collaborative Partnership

6. Subject to the criteria above, Loughborough University will consider engaging in the following types of collaborative partnership:

  • Progression arrangements: Whereby students who have successfully completed a programme at a partner institution may be considered for entry either to the beginning, or to a more advanced stage, of a programme of Loughborough University. Students normally have a contractual relationship with the institution which delivers the first component and subsequently with Loughborough University.
  • Validation: Where a programme that is wholly developed and delivered by a partner institution is approved by Loughborough University as being of an appropriate standard and quality to lead to a Loughborough University award. Students have a direct contractual relationship with the partner institution, not Loughborough University, but exit with a Loughborough University qualification and / or Loughborough University credits. 
  • Joint Delivery: Whereby provision is developed, approved and delivered jointly by Loughborough University and by the partner institution and leads to a Loughborough University qualification and/or Loughborough University credits.  Students may or may not be registered with, and/or receive a qualification and/or credits from, the partner institution as well as from Loughborough University.

7. Loughborough University will not consider engaging in the following types of collaborative partnership: 

  • Franchising: A process by which Loughborough University agrees to authorise a partner institution to deliver and assess one of its own approved programmes, where Loughborough would retain direct responsibility for the programme content, the teaching and assessment strategy, the assessment regime and the quality assurance. 
  • Flying faculty: An arrangement whereby a programme is delivered in a location away from the main campus (usually in another country) by staff from Loughborough University, who also carry out all assessment. 
  • Serial arrangements: When the partner institution (through an arrangement of its own) offers programmes validated by Loughborough University elsewhere or assigns to another party powers delegated to it by Loughborough University. 
  • Joint award: An arrangement where two or more awarding bodies together provide a programme leading to a single award made jointly by both, or all, participants. A single certificate attests to the successful completion of this jointly delivered programme, replacing the separate institutional qualifications. 
  • Dual/double award: An arrangement where two or more awarding bodies together provide a single jointly delivered programme (or programmes) leading to separate qualifications being granted by both, or all, of them. 
  • Validation of credits or programme parts: A process by which Loughborough University approves a module or programme part that is wholly developed and delivered by a partner institution as being of an appropriate standard and quality to lead to a Loughborough University qualification and/or credits. 

8. In order to safeguard the interests of students, Loughborough University will undertake appropriate due diligence before proceeding in any substantive way with a collaborative partnership. Due diligence enquiries will be refreshed periodically and also where circumstances change (for example, if the activities are extended or if the ownership of a delivery organisation or support provider changes). The Teaching Partnerships Sub-Committee is responsible for determining what type of due diligence enquiries may be necessary, dependent on the nature of the arrangement and its risks and proportionate to the complexity and volume of the provision involved.  Following completion of due diligence, Teaching Partnerships Sub-Committee will be responsible for initiating the Procedures for the Approval, Monitoring and Review of Taught Collaborative Partnerships (section 10.2 of the AQPH).