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Establishing Partnerships

Looking to Partner with an International Institution?

If you are a faculty or staff member interested in partnering with an international institution, please carefully review the information below.

Steps to Partnership Development

We encourage faculty and staff members to consult with the appropriate contacts within their own department/unit (Chair, Director, Dean, etc.) and with Ryerson International regarding the collaborative activity to be pursued. The desired outcomes for all stakeholders, alongside key roles and responsibilities, should be determined at this stage between both Ryerson and partner counterparts. Ryerson International can provide advice or direction as needed, determine whether an institutional agreement is required and ensure identification of connections university wide.

If it has been determined by Ryerson International that an agreement is required, requests to establish an institutional partnership may be made by an academic unit, a faculty member, or by a Ryerson administrator. Requests are initiated through the submission of an International Agreement Proposal Form, external link, opens in new window.

Note: Part of the form completion process is confirmation of support from relevant chair(s)/director(s) and dean(s). See proposal form above for complete instructions.

Proceed with the implementation of the activity once a copy of the fully signed agreement is shared with you by Ryerson International. Continue to work with the appropriate points of contact internally and externally for ongoing support with the activity you have initiated.

Institutional partnerships will be reviewed in advance of the termination date based on activity outcomes and objectives. Ryerson Senate Policy #95 establishes that an evaluation will inform the renewal process for institutional partnerships.

For further information please contact Suhair Deeb, Coordinator, International Agreements & Faculty Engagement, at

Glossary of Terms

Collaborative Activity: Relationships between Ryerson and an international institution to facilitate activities that do not require an institutional agreement.

Partnerships: Relationships that have been formalized through the signing of an institutional agreement. Our Partnerships by Region section of the site includes Ryerson’s current relationships that have been formalized through an institutional agreement.

Institutional Agreement

Type Description Primary Purpose Processing Time
Funding Agreement An agreement that is typically required when funding is involved (governmental or otherwise) such as a Letter of Intent (LOI) or a contribution agreement.

An LOI is required by the funding agency for the purpose of expressing intent to collaborate. The LOI is part of a proposal package to support funding applications.

A Contribution Agreement is a binding agreement signed with the Government of Canada or another funder and it serves to monitor and review spending of funds.

3-6 weeks
Collaborative Agreement An agreement is established when collaborative areas and joint activities are identified to pursue a partnership. Examples include a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and an agreement specific to the activity that will be undertaken in collaboration with the partner institution. An MOU is an initial step to acknowledge an intent to explore potential areas of collaboration and articulates the nature of the relationship. 4-8 weeks

A Specific Activity Agreement is a binding agreement that commits the University to explicit terms and conditions associated with the planned activity(ies). It clarifies key areas of responsibility, covers institutional liability, and ensures institutional policies are applied.

If you are a faculty member with a research grant and would like to further develop your research project through a collaboration with an international institution, consult with the Office of the Vice President, Research and Innovation.

Varies depending on the complexity of the agreement (approx. 2-8 months)

Ryerson International is pleased to assist faculty/staff members and prospective partners in developing institutional agreements. We have members with expertise to guide stakeholders throughout the process of establishing institutional agreements with international (and domestic) institutions. The amount of time required to prepare an institutional agreement varies. Please plan your collaboration well in advance to ensure enough time is allowed for document preparation.

Process for Establishing Institutional Agreement

Proposal The academic unit submits a complete partnership proposal form to RI.
Development of Draft Institutional Agreement  RI drafts an agreement based on a standard template, when possible. In some cases, partners may ask to use their agreement template (non-standard agreement). The academic unit reviews the content of the agreement, specifically the sections pertaining to the proposed academic program and relevant arrangements for students, faculty and staff.
Partner Institution Feedback RI provides a draft agreement to proposed partner for review and comment.
Finalization of Draft Institutional Agreement The academic unit reviews revisions made by the partner pertaining to the proposed academic program.
Legal Review RI facilitates the review of the fully negotiated agreement with legal counsel, where applicable.
Final Approval and Signing RI submits a memo with two copies of the finalized agreement requesting approval and signing by the appropriate University’s signing officer(s). Next, documents are sent to the partner for signing. If the partner prefers to sign first, documents would follow the same process.
Record Management Ryerson Senate Office retains one original agreement once it is fully signed and the partner keeps the second original copy. Ryerson International retains a scanned copy of the agreement, which is shared with the academic unit.
Institutional Agreement Implementaion The academic unit proceeds with the implementation of the agreement. For student exchange programs, it is the responsibility of the academic unit to maintain balance in the number of student exchanges as specified in the agreement.
Institutional Agreement Renewal/Termination RI will make available to the academic unit a schedule of institutional agreements that are up for review.  The academic unit reviews activity against desired outcomes and confirms with RI whether an agreement should be renewed or terminated.  It is the responsibility of the academic unit to inform the partner of the outcomes of the review.