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Selecting Partner

Guidelines on Selecting an International Partner Institution for a Split-site PhD

The split-site PhD has been identified as a vehicle to increase collaborative research/international partnerships and opportunities for Koya University's students. This document is intended to give guidance to Schools/Departments on selecting an international organisation/institution to establish such opportunities.  

These Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Regulatory Framework for Split-Site PhDs which sets out the University’s policy for this type of research degree, and the areas which need to be addressed.  For example, Schools must ensure that clear supervisory arrangements are agreed with the partner institution at the outset.  

It is strongly recommended that a visit is undertaken to a prospective institution with which there has been no contact previously. Schools will be aware of particular institutions through their reputations in certain countries (e.g. German Institutes of Technology, Germany) but may wish to make contact with organisations in countries they are not familiar with.  There are a number of ways to identify institutions which may be suitable:
However under certain circumstances a visit may be superfluous and the Faculty may wish to agree with the School that a visit is unnecessary.  Such circumstances might be where the School already has a firmly established link with an organisation/ institution by way of:
  • previous students (alumni) who are now academic members of staff at the institution
  • collaborative research
  • student and staff exchange
The Postgraduate Affairs' Office will contact Schools if they are approached by Government and funding bodies who may be interested in Split-Site PhDs for members of staff in state (and occasionally private) universities and where they are willing to provide funding for such a purpose.

It is recommended that a report is prepared following any initial visit to a prospective organisation/institution.  Schools may wish to include the following for consideration in such a report:
  • library facilities
  • technology resources (including IT)
  • laboratory facilities
  • teaching facilities
The School may wish to take into account any report(s) written on the basis of visits already undertaken by members of the University. Contact the Postgraduate Affairs' Office to establish if any other visits have been made.
The School may wish to consider the following when satisfying itself about the suitability of the institution:
  • reputation
  • financial stability
  • mission and objectives compatible with those of the Koya University
  • legal status
  • infrastructure
Useful points of information for the above can be found through:
  • reports from funding or external quality assurance bodies;
  • information available from government offices and agencies of the country in which the organisation/institution is based (eg DAAD in Germany);
  • information available from the Ministry of Higher Education in Kurdistan Region;
  • information available from KRG Information offices based in the country;
  • advice on the cultural, legal, financial and political environment in which the prospective organisation/institution operates and the potential effect of this environment on any arrangements/agreements;
  • advice on the implications of language, religious and other relevant cultural issues;
  • information from any other university with whom the prospective Partner Organisation/Institution has had a previous relationship.
It is recommended that the School identifies a member of staff who will be the point of contact in the School, and a member of staff to act as point of contact in the prospective institution.

An overarching split-site Memorandum of Agreement should be signed at institutional level between the partner institution and the Koya University. A template can be obtained from this web site.  

Individual arrangements between Schools are then catered for by completion and signature of Annexe 1 to the MoA, which is incorporated, on signature, into the overarching MoA. A template can be obtained from this web site.