Collaborative Arrangements (higher education provision with others)

Collaborative Arrangements


Royal Holloway has a range of collaborative relationships with partners, both in the UK, and across the world. The types of relationship vary (see link to 'Register of higher education provision with others' to the right of this page), and involve relationships where undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study are offered by or in collaboration with another organisation or body. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  •  Validated programmes;
  •  Franchised programmes;
  •  Royal Holloway programmes offered overseas by flying faculties;
  •  Articulation agreements with overseas higher education institutions which lead to the award of dual degrees;
  •  Study abroad opportunities for Royal Holloway students at a number of European and international institutions;
  •  Short term and longer term placements or years in industry which are part of validated degree programmes;
  •  Intercollegiate courses and programmes offered with other colleges of the University of London.

Collaborations such as the above lead to an award of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College or Royal Holloway, University of London.

Royal Holloway also offers a number of its programmes by distance learning through the University of London International Academy, leading to an award of the University of London.


Establishing a New Collaborative Arrangement

In summary, the process consists of four steps:

Step 1: Interest and Consideration

Step 2: Detailed Investigation

Step 3: College Decision

Step 4: Preparation for Validation and Delivery 


If you are interested in setting up a collaborative arrangement, please speak to your Faculty Dean or the Director of Strategic Planning and Change for further guidance and more information, and to the Head of Academic Quality and Policy Office or the appropriate Assistant Registrar for quality assurance matters.

Click here to download a one-page summary of the process.

Stage 1: Interest and Consideration

Interest in creating a new collaborative relationship can come from a Department, Faculty, or Central College. This could be in relation to a new or existing programme, or originate from the proposal of an external body. This should be discussed within the relevant department to develop the concept for consideration by the Departmental Board.

The concept for the new collaboration should go the to Departmental Board for discussion and approval of the new collaboration in principle. It is important to consider the potential impact across the Department at this stage. Please see the list of questionsto be considered, the answers to which will inform part of the Initial Programme Proposal.

Stage 2a: Detailed Investigation

The concept should be taken to the Faculty Dean by the Head of Department and the Proposer for discussion. The Faculty Dean will ensure that the Department  has considered the potential impacts of the proposed partnership and programme.

The Faculty Dean will discuss the proposal with the Deputy Principal, who is also the Chair of the Collaborative Provision Committee, and seek approval for the detailed investigation to take place, and for resource to be allocated from Strategic Planning and Change to manage this.

Should the Chair of CPC approve, a Project Manager will be appointed. In some cases the partner organisation will require a Memorandum of Understanding to pursue the detailed investigation, this should be written by Research and Enterprise once CPC is satisfied that the collaboration is viable, and signed by the Deputy Principal.

Stage 2b: The Initial Programme Proposal

The Initial Programme Proposal will be compiled by the Programme Director and Project Manager, and will be accompanied by:

  1. Financial Model, provided by the appropriate Faculty Accountant;
  2. Risk Analysis, for which the Project Manager will be responsible, and which must consider potential steps to mitigate risk;
  3. Due Diligence, for which the Project Manager will be responsible, assisted by the Faculty Accountant where appropriate, which must also include one independent external reference on both the reputation of the external provider, and on the collaborative proposal.

In some cases a Draft Programme Proposal will also be required.

Stage 3: College Decision

The formal proposal will be submitted to the Collaborative Provision Committee, who will consider the collaborative proposal against the following headings:

  1. College Strategy;
  2. Achievability;
  3. Financial Model;
  4. Risk Analysis;
  5. Due Diligence.

The CPC will also ensure that the proposal is consistent with Chapter B:10 (Managing higher education provision with others) of the QAA's UK Quality Code for Higher Education.

If the CPC does not approve the proposal, it can be re-submitted at an appropriate time as identified by the Committee. Further information may also be requested in order to enable a decision to be made.

Stage 4: Preparation for Validation and Delivery

If the proposal is approved by CPC, the Committee will recommend the programme to APC for approval for Validation, and to PRC in relation to any resource requirements.

The process of establishing the collaboration will likely require the following actions:

  • If a Memorandum of Understanding has not yet been required, this will be drawn up by Research & Enterprise;
  • A Project Initiation Document may be prepared to formalise the project with SPMPC (Systems and Processes Major Projects Committee), and a Project Board formed;
  • A timeline for the project will be established, which will include the timeline for Validation, which will be conducted in line with the College's standard quality assurance procedures;
  • Working with the Project Manager, R&E, and the external provider, a contract will be prepared, agreed, and signed;
  • Advice will be taken on necessary legal, taxation, human resources, and governance issues arising from the collaboration;
  • Validation Documentation will be prepared by the Programme Director as required in line with the Programme Validation Process;
  • Working with the Project Manager, RH Programme Director and Partner Programme Director, an Assistant Registrar will prepare a draft Operations Manual for the validation Event.  The Operations Manual will be finalised and agreed by both parties and form a Schedule to the contract.

Stage 5: Ongoing Monitoring and Development

If the collaborative programme is validated, the programmes will be subject to a cycle of:

  1. Annual Monitoring and Updates;
  2. Periodic Programme Review;
  3. Periodic Renewal of the Contract and Schedules, which will include an annual review of, and updates to, the Operations Manual.

 Please note that all Collaborative Programmes are subject to the same Quality Assurance processes and guidelines as campus-taught programmes.