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Student Exchange Agreements


A Student Exchange Agreement allows for the equal exchange of students between the University of Kentucky and an international accredited institution. Student Exchange Agreements are detailed, legally binding contracts. The agreements' provisions address the administrative concerns of both institutions, such as administration of the program, tuition and credit exchange, selection of students, declaration of responsibility regarding housing, transportation, risk management, advertisement, etc.

The following describes the process for developing a new Student Exchange Agreement:

  1. Approvals:  All proposed exchange agreements must be approved by the cognizant department chairperson and dean, the Director of Education Abroad, and the Associate Provost for International Programs. 
  2. Review Criteria:  Criteria for all reviews include those listed in the general criteria.  Additional review criteria for student exchange agreements include:
    • Capacity of the University, College, and/or Department to absorb projected enrollment increases in the designated subject areas.
    • Complementarity of the participants’ program(s) of study with the courses and programs available to them at the host institution.
    • Transferability of courses, in both directions.
    • Language ability required to participate in the program.
    • Feasibility of recruiting a sufficient number of students to keep the exchange in balance.
  3. Consultation:  The faculty sponsor should consult with the Director of Education Abroad about the scope of the exchange (college-specific or university-wide) and its implications for assigning financial and managerial responsibility for the exchange.
  4. Department Review:  The faculty sponsor must submit an information form for approval to his or her department chairperson. 
  5. College Review:  If the department chairperson approves, the information form is submitted for approval to the dean or dean’s designee.  If a college-specific exchange is being proposed, the College’s approval confirms its agreement to assume financial responsibility for the program, including covering the cost of exchange imbalances.
  6. Education Abroad Review:  If approved by the College, the information form is submitted to the Assistant Provost for International Partnerships, who will forward the form to the Director of Education Abroad, whose review criteria will include:
    • Congruence of the proposed exchange with the University’s priorities for education abroad.
    • Impact of the proposed exchange on existing education abroad programs.
    • Capacity of Education Abroad to promote and monitor the exchange.
  7. Provost’s Review:  If approved by Education Abroad, the information form is returned to the Assistant Provost for International Partnerships for the Provost’s review and approval.  The Provost has delegated this responsibility to the Associate Provost for International Programs.
  8. Negotiation of the Agreement:  The Assistant Provost for International Partnerships will provide the faculty sponsor a student exchange agreement template approved by UK Legal Counsel, which should be used as the basis for negotiations with the proposed partner institution.  The Assistant Provost for International Partnerships and the faculty sponsor will decide who will represent the University in negotiations (ordinarily it would be either the faculty sponsor or the Assistant Provost).
  9. Legal Review:  If any provision of a draft agreement differs substantively from the student exchange template, the Assistant Provost for International Partnerships (or the Office of Clinical Contracting, as appropriate) will review the agreement with UK Legal Counsel, modify the agreement as needed, and continue negotiations with the proposed partner until an agreement has been drafted that is satisfactory to UK Legal Counsel.  Final copies of an agreement may not be signed until approved, stamped, and dated by UK Legal Counsel (unless the agreement contains no substantive differences from the student exchange template). 
  10. Execution of the Agreement:  The Assistant Provost for International Partnerships will prepare four copies for signature.  The agreement is signed by the Associate Provost for International Programs and by an authorized institutional representative of the partner institution.  For college-specific exchanges, the agreement must also be signed by the cognizant college dean.  UK may have additional signatories (e.g., faculty sponsor, department chairperson), but none can substitute for the Associate Provost.  The agreement may be signed in person or via the electronic or physical exchange of documents.
  11. Archives:  Two fully executed copies remain with the partner institution.  Two copies are held by UK, one by the Assistant Provost for International Partnerships and one by the cognizant dean.