Memorandum of Understanding
A Memorandum of Understanding or MoU records the intention of the University of
Nottingham and a partner institution to strengthen ties between the two institutions with
a view to collaboration between them. The collaboration may involve a teaching
partnership, a research project, an exchange partnership or all/any of these.
While the MoU is not a formal or legal agreement to deliver anything specific it often has
several purposes and benefits. As an MoU should be signed by a member of
Management Board, it acts as a signal of university management support for the
collaboration and may inform strategy; it will be published on the MoU database on the
internal web pages providing internal communication about the link; it will often be
associated with a formal meeting of senior staff at universities at the beginning of
partnerships which is useful for publicity purposes. It is also sometimes required by
funding bodies as a proof of the intention to collaborate as a partner.
It is not always necessary to have an MoU between two collaborative universities. For
example, often a joint research project does not necessarily benefit from a general MoU.
However, some overseas institutions do place great importance on the signing of an MoU
and sometimes offer their own templates to sign. This is unproblematic just as long as
the content of the document has been checked, prior to signing, by the International
Office and is essentially similar to the UoN standard template.
The process at the University of Nottingham for MoU's is as follows:
- Prospective MoU's should be discussed with the International Office (Partnership
Support Section or the Head of the International Office).
- A draft for signing should be sent to the PVC for the School or the PVC International.
The partner signs if they have not already done so.
- The original of the MoU, signed by both parties, should be sent to the International
- If the collaboration involves a teaching partnership it will be most likely that an MoA
(Memorandum of Association) will be needed. This is a much more detailed, legal
document outlining the specifics of the partnership.
- If the MoU is time limited the international Office will contact the relevant staff to
discuss the renewal of the MoU.
More information about MoU's and MoA's can be found in a section of the Quality Manual
on Collaborative Provision at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/quality-manual/collaborative-
provision/index.htm. The online database of MoU's and MoA's can be found at
https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/international/staff/_moa_search.php. The template for
the standard University of Nottingham MoU is attached.
If you would like further information or advice please contact the International Office:
Helen Foster, Head of Partnership Development in the International Office
(Helen.Foster@nottingham.ac.uk Tel: 67145).