Guidelines for Good Business Partnerships in Education Abroad, Second Edition
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While partnerships begin by connections between individuals, it is important for relationships to be clarified and legitimized at the organizational level to protect all of the organizations involved. The discussions and process leading up to the signing of an agreement often raise salient issues crucial to the relationship. Indeed, the process is often at least as important as the ensuing contract. Open and clear communication, mutual respect for each organization’s values, culture, mission and goals, expectations, costs, and services, and understanding the limitations of the partnership are vital. Still, many of the individuals involved in developing partnerships, outlining agreements, or negotiating contracts are not legal experts or trained in business negotiations and may feel uncomfortable in this role. For this reason, it is important to negotiate partnerships in good faith and to review contracts with your organization’s relevant individuals or departments such as general counsel, financial operations, and academic offices.
These Guidelines are intended to guide the legal, ethical, professional, contractual, and business aspects involved in delivering high-quality education abroad programming. They can inform the establishment of new partnerships, the renewal of existing partnerships, or the renegotiation of existing agreements. Their primary purpose does not pertain to agreements (Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)) between higher education institutions, though certainly some of them may apply. Use the Guidelines together with the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad and the Code of Ethics for Education Abroad to develop strong, sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships between
For additional guidance for specific program types, we also encourage you to review the other offerings in The Forum’s series of Guidelines.
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