International Collaboration

BU forges partnerships with outstanding academic and other institutions across the globe to expand the student experience, faculty growth and contributions, and the impact of our research. Collaborations with our foreign colleagues are essential to the success of our global activities. They are also often the most rewarding, educational, and enjoyable components of international work.

At BU, our global collaborations are as diverse as our faculty, who are at the forefront of relationship-building with partners. These relationships may start with a chance meeting at a conference and grow into multidimensional interactions between our institutions.

As they develop, collaborations are often formalized through agreements and other mechanisms that document the relationship between the University and a partner and expectations of each institution.

We offer you the following considerations and resources for selecting a partner, assessing the value of a formal agreement, and managing partnerships across borders.

Selecting Partners

Our institutional collaborations should reflect our values as an institution, such as commitment to quality teaching and research as well as fiscal and operational responsibility.

We recommend that at the early stages of developing collaborations, you take some time to:

  • Understand your own and your partner’s objectives
  • Consider both benefits and costs or obligations for your department, school, and the University
  • Recognize the influence of differences in academic culture and practice
  • Set mutually agreed-upon metrics for determining success of a collaboration

Where to Start

We are available to discuss potential collaborations and to share information about BU’s current partners and the potential for expanding those relationships.

If you’d like to request a formal institutional collaboration agreement, please get in touch and include your answers to the questions below. More information, including templates and the approval process, is available on the international agreements page.

Additionally, if your collaboration may involve credit-bearing activities, refer to the Teaching section of Planning Your Activity Abroad to learn more more about the approval process.

Questions to Consider

  • What is the purpose of the collaboration?
  • Who is the proposed partner?
  • What do you know about their institution?
  • What do you hope to achieve?
  • How does this collaboration further the mission of your department/center, school/college, and/or BU?
  • How do you see the relationship developing over the first year and into later years (as relevant)?
  • What administrative burdens of the relationship do you anticipate, especially financial? How are you planning to meet these expenses?
  • By what metrics will you judge a productive relationship?
  • Is a formal agreement needed? Why?
  • What is the proposed duration of the agreement?
  • Any other relevant information?

Relevant Webinars

  • International Partnerships
  • International, Joint, and Double Degree Programs: Prospects and Challenges

Available via the Global Programs Resources page.