Contact International Office
Regional coordination Europe
Regional coordination Africa, Asia, Australia, Middle East, Russia and Central Asia
Regional coordination North and Latin America
Erasmus ID Code: D OLDENBU01
TOEFL Code: 3556
The International Office is here to answer all your questions regarding partnerships with other universities and to provide ongoing assistance during the process of drawing up cooperation agreements. We do not initiate and maintain contacts between individual scientists and/or research departments.
Partnerships between universities are based on different types of contract.The most common type is a general, overarching Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) – an agreement in principle, which can be expanded by amendments or further specified in additional contracts (e.g. a Student Exchange Agreement).
When establishing cooperation agreements with partner universities, the International Office is on hand to:
- Provide preliminary advice (types of contract, procedure, assessment of the foreign university, etc.)
- Provide suitable model contracts
- Review contracts proposed by the foreign partner university to ensure that they are compatible with the University of Oldenburg’s own contracts (specifically, to identify potentially critical or legally questionable passages and reword the text if necessary)
- Organise the internal process (the IO ensures that the contracts are checked by the Legal Affairs Unit and signed by the President of the University. The final documents are then sent to all contract parties)
- Register the contracts in the university’s internal databases and in the HRK Higher Education Compass
- Archive contracts
- For contract renewals: amend contracts at the request of the relevant school or institute
Concluding a contract – What needs to be done?
- Collect information on the activities carried out and those planned for the future; come to agreements on the content of the contract (especially in the case of student exchanges). Please use our Checklist for new partnerships.
- Draw up a draft agreement in consultation with the foreign partner university, based on the standard model contract provided by the International Office or the partners' proposal.
- Have the cooperation agreement approved. This is done by obtaining the signature of the President and his counterpart at the partner university.
If the standard model contract was not used as a basis for drawing up the agreement, an additional review by the University of Oldenburg’s Legal Affairs Unit is required. If the partnership also covers detailed agreements on research, the Research and Transfer Unit must also be involved in the process. The International Office will then submit the draft agreement to the President for signing.
The partnership agreement can be drawn up in two languages (English and German), both of which are considered to be binding when signed. However, it is now common practice internationally to only draw up contracts in English. If a contract language other than German or English is used, the text in the additional language only serves to supplement the official agreement and must be included in a separate appendix (e.g. addendum or annex).
Formal requirements and decision-making processes
At the University of Oldenburg, international cooperation agreements are concluded according to the bottom-up principle. They are generally initiated by one or more units at the university that want to enter into a partnership with another institution, at which they already have connections. Most agreements concern school or institute partnerships.
The Presidential Board, in collaboration with the participating schools or institutes, is responsible for concluding the agreement. The International Office is responsible for coordinating the process and advises on types of contract, formalities and funding options. Please contact the responsible regional coordinator for more information.
The President signs the cooperation agreement in his capacity as the representative of the university. The signatures of deans or heads of institutes are merely supplementary and are not contractually binding.
Contents of the contract
A few additional points to consider:
- The contract must not include any financial commitments on the part of the University of Oldenburg.
- New contracts are usually concluded for a period of two years (+ one-year extension). In justifiable cases, the maximum agreed duration of the contract must not exceed five years.
- Extensions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the regional coordinator (International Office) and discussed with the partnership representative.
- The school or institute must nominate a contact person/ partnership representative.
- nglish is the general contract resp. agreement language. Other language versions have only supplementary and non-official character.