7.2 Code of Practice: Reciprocal Student Exchange Agreements
7.2.1 This Code of Practice is applicable to all reciprocal student exchange programmes. The purpose is to ensure that all necessary steps are taken by the relevant staff, academic or administrative, or schools, to ensure that University of Stirling students will not be disadvantaged whilst studying abroad, and that programme quality is maintained at a high level.
7.2.2 Any school wishing to establish a student exchange programme must demonstrate that the exchange is planned to operate on a reciprocal basis and that there is sufficient demand from students to fill those places.
7.2.3 There must be a clear academic focus to the exchange.
7.2.4 Exchange partners must be of reputable standing academically, and approved by the University of Stirling.
7.2.5 It is imperative that exchange partners be visited by staff from the school, or member of staff from SRAI on a regular basis, preferably at least every four years, to ensure that standards are maintained. Such a visit will include inspection of all aspects of the exchange: academic issues; support services, and facilities such as accommodation, computing and recreational provision. Failure on the part of our exchange partner to adhere to reasonable standards will result in the closure of the exchange.
7.2.6 Whenever an academic school proposes an exchange, it should ensure that resources will be available to implement paragraph 7.2.5 above. It should also ensure that information about the proposed partner is made available for comment prior to any decision to establish an exchange being made. This material should include undergraduate and postgraduate prospectuses and other supporting information such as information on student housing provision and other facilities.
7.2.7 University of Stirling coordinators must have good working links with the coordinator at the host institution. Such links may include common teaching or research interests, previous visits, or similar evidence of existing co-operation. Exchanges established at school level must have a coordinator appointed to organise and support the exchange, select students to participate and to provide briefings, assist with the completion of all required documentation and to liaise with the partner institution. For exchange agreements operated on a university-wide basis, SRAI will co-ordinate the programme on a similar basis. Where such a coordinator is not identified, the exchange should not be approved. SRAI will ensure that arrangements are made to enable incoming students to apply, be processed, and gain admission to the university.
7.2.8 Partner institutions are required to provide up to date course listings and other support material to the coordinator of the exchange on a regular, preferably annual, basis. This is to ensure that decisions on course selection may be made on a sound academic basis.
7.2.9 Partner institutions should provide, or make available, or make arrangements to assist students in finding, suitable housing for incoming students, as the University of Stirling does for its partners’ students.
7.2.10 Due regard to Health and Safety issues must be paid and where possible, the partner institution should provide the programme coordinator with a copy of its health and safety policy, and its student support policy.
7.2.11 Students studying abroad must ensure, and be advised of this requirement, that they have adequate travel and health insurance for the complete period of the programme.
7.2.12 Students selected to take part in an exchange must be of good academic standing, according to the application guidelines.
7.2.13 It must be possible for University of Stirling students to enrol for classes which are approved by their school at Stirling. This is applicable to language students as well as non-language students.
7.2.14 Support services for incoming students at the partner university must be of a good standard and students should expect to have access to academic advice and support, reasonable housing and other services at a fair cost where appropriate.
7.2.15 The exchange should be available to students with special needs and/or disabilities. The partner institution must be able to accept admission of, and provide support for, a range of such students and make clear before any agreement is signed if any particular disabilities or special needs cannot be supported.
7.2.16 There must be close co-operation between schools at Stirling. Thus, for example, a student wishing to study abroad must have approval from all his or her schools at Stirling, and be taking relevant courses whilst abroad.
7.2.17 Courses taken abroad must be subject to grading and students will receive block credit for courses successfully completed overseas. Students must be advised clearly before beginning their study period abroad how the course approval and credit transfer systems work. All students who study abroad must complete a Learning Agreement with their Adviser of Studies before the start of the study period.
7.2.18 Students wishing to study in a non-native English speaking country, must be able to enrol in classes which shall be taught in English, unless the primary purpose of the study period is to improve their language skills as part of their degree programme.
7.2.19 Students should be able to communicate with their coordinator at Stirling regularly.
7.2.20 There should be close co-operation between academic schools and SRAI.
7.2.21 If a potential programme does not meet the above conditions, it will not be approved. Existing exchanges will be assessed for their adherence to these principles regularly.