Management of Collaborative Provision Partnerships

Implementation & Preparation for Teaching

Following successful approval of a proposal and the signing of the legal agreement between Keele and the partner(s), and dependant on the partnership arrangement, a Project Implementation Group will be established to oversee the final stages and implementation of preparations for teaching to begin. Membership of the Project Implementation Group and any of its sub-groups will vary dependant on the arrangement.

The preparations that the Project Implementation Group will oversee will include; development of the Operational Handbook and Student Handbook and all operational and delivery requirements to be established, programme approval (where applicable and where it has not been possible to conduct this alongside partnership approval), teaching and administrative staff recruitment, marketing and student recruitment activities and status of recruitment against target numbers and any additional preparatory activities in relation to programme delivery.

A link tutor must be appointed by the relevant School to act as the main contact for the programme delivered through the partnership arrangement. For more information on the role of Schools and the link tutor position, see the School Responsibilities and The Link Tutor Role in Collaborative Provision guidance.     

The Operational Handbook

An Operational Handbook will be developed for each partnership and represents the shared understanding by the University and the partner of the mechanisms through which the collaboration will operate.  The Operational Handbook will ensure that:

  • appropriate systems and processes have been developed to manage the quality and standards of the collaborative provision arrangement and the student experience, and that these are in line with University expectations;
  • the respective roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders are clear, appropriate and understood by both the University and the partner.  This should include clear lines for reporting and feedback, communication with students and other stakeholders;
  • there is a shared understanding of the regulatory and procedural framework governing the student journey;
  • the minimum requirements for communication between the University and the partner are agreed and the purpose for that communication is clear within the context of managing the quality and standards of the collaborative provision arrangement.

The Collaborative Provision Officer will liaise with the partner, the Keele School and various Professional Services Teams to develop the Operational Handbook.

Governance Arrangements

Within the University committee structure, the following committees have been allocated particular responsibility in relation to collaborative provision:


The University Executive Committee (UEC) is responsible for granting approval of collaborative provision partnerships, considering in detail all proposals for new collaborative partnerships and making an assessment, based on the evidence and analysis provided by other parts of the University, as to the suitability and strategic fit of the partner. UEC will receive for information a summary and any relevant partnership updates from CAP when required and receive an overview of the annual Strategic Performance Reviews undertaken for each partnership to affirm their ongoing viability.


The Collaborative Provision and Partnerships Sub-Committee (CAP) is responsible for providing initial scrutiny of new proposals and will review Outline Proposal Forms and outcomes of due diligence, Business Case planning and the scrutiny visits and make any recommendations (as necessary) to UEC. CAP will also receive regular partnership updates on every collaborative provision partnership, receiving updates on annual monitoring and acting as the main body for overseeing quality assurance and enhancement related activities for collaborative provision.

Joint Steering Committee

A Joint Steering Committee is set up with each Franchise/Validation/Joint/Dual Award and Co-Delivery partner to provide strategic direction and liaison for the partnership and to ensure all programmes delivered under these partnerships are appropriately managed. The membership of the Joint Steering Committee will consist of senior members of staff from Keele and the partner from within the relevant Faculty, School and Professional Services.

Joint Board of Studies

A Joint Board of Studies is set up for each partner or delivery site which will normally cover all Keele programmes taught at that campus. The Joint Board of Studies is the key forum for ongoing liaison between the Keele School and partner and will have within its remit academic matters and those relating to the student experience. Many operational matters will also be dealt with through the Joint Board of Studies but if an issue requires more senior input or strategic oversight, it will be reported upwards to the Joint Steering Committee, or CAP or where necessary UEC.

Examination Board

Collaborative provision arrangements will meet the requirements of Regulation D.3 of the University’s regulations.  Examination Board arrangements will be agreed prior to the commencement of the partnership and defined in the Operational Handbook.

Student Staff Voice Committee

There will be a forum at the partner institution to facilitate opportunities for student representatives to meet with partner staff and the Keele link tutor. A Student Staff Voice Committee would normally be the appropriate forum at Keele in which to facilitate joint discussion of the student experience. Discussions would include the following:

  • academic matters (relating to any aspect of modules and programmes including their delivery and assessment); programme content (level, suitability, academic rigour etc;
  • curriculum design and development (both module and programme);
  • learning resources and programme materials;
  • academic support, including library services as well as pastoral care and other forms of student support;
  • the quality of information and documentation made available to students; 
  • recruitment, selection and admissions procedures;
  • the quality of feedback.

Arrangements for Split-Site PhDs

There will be a degree of flexibility applied to Split-Site PhD arrangements with regard to the time spent by students at Keele and the level of tuition fee payable to Keele. The minimum period of residence at Keele should be no less than 12 months in total but could be divided up into discontinuous periods, subject to visa considerations. For time spent at Keele, normally full international fees are payable to Keele. The level of tuition fee payable to Keele for other periods would be determined on a case by case basis, in liaison with the International Recruitment and Development Team in the Directorate of Marketing and Communications, and fully reflected in the business case which is put forward for approval.

Students will be allocated two Lead Supervisors, one from each institution. The supervisory arrangements in place for the student should follow the expectations of the PGR Code of Practice and good practice set out in the Research Degree Supervisor Handbook. Where the partner institution does not have suitable supervisor training provision, supervisors will be expected to come to Keele to undertake their supervisor training.

Students will undertake research training either at Keele or at the partner institution and follow the normal stages of a Keele research degree, including progression points, as prescribed in the PGR Code of Practice.

Thesis and viva arrangements will follow the requirements set out in the Keele PGR Code of Practice. Keele will appoint the examiners, with an independent Keele chair for the viva. The award would be confirmed by the University’s Research Degrees Committee.

Arrangements for Joint & Dual PhDs

For Joint & Dual PhD arrangements specific requirements must be considered as set out below. Flexibility will apply with regard to the time spent by students at Keele and the level of tuition fee payable to Keele. The minimum period of residence at Keele should be no less than 12 months in total but which could be divided up into discontinuous periods, subject to visa considerations.

For Joint PhD arrangements there will be one degree certificate issued jointly by the partners. For Dual PhD arrangements separate degree certificates will be issued from each of the partners. The certificate will however make reference to the other institution.

The regulatory framework for Joint PhD arrangements will be based on a bespoke set of regulations specific to the programme and will be developed between the partners. For Dual PhD arrangements it may be necessary to develop bespoke regulations in order to ensure each of the partner’s requirements are met, however it is likely each institution will implement their own regulations. 

For Joint PhD arrangements a supervisor must be appointed at each institution. For Viva examinations an Internal Examiner might be nominated at each institution with a joint decision made on one External candidate. For Dual PhD arrangements each institution will coordinate its own separate examination arrangements. Students will need to complete both in order to be awarded a degree.

Research training expectations for Joint PhD arrangements will be agreed between the partners and recorded within a bespoke set of regulations. For Dual PhD arrangements the research training expectations of each partner will be maintained and students would need to fulfil both sets of requirements.

The legal agreement will set out clearly the expectations of each partner and the relevant processes with regard to quality assurance, standards, examinations, training and supervision, student support and the regulatory framework.