Considerations when establishing international cooperation agreements in education

Collaboration within education is done at the programme level, and agreements are signed centrally with the support of the International Relations Office. To assess new and evaluate ongoing collaborations, study programmes need to consider a number of aspects.

Establishment of new collaborations 

Before establishing new collaborations, it is important to hold discussions with both academic and administrative representatives at KI and the prospective institution. Initial discussions can take place digitally. Contact trips can be undertaken if deemed necessary and should be documented .

Exchange agreements in education at undergraduate and advanced levels are always established at the study programme level at KI. They are centrally signed according to delegation from the Vice-President for Higher Education at KI.

Evaluation of ongoing collaborations 

During the follow-up and evaluation of ongoing collaborations, experiences from international coordinators and those responsible for internationalization should be taken into account, along with exchange reports and evaluations from both students and teachers. Evaluate collaborations on a regular basis.

KI's ethical guidelines for international collaborations must always be followed.

Aspects to consider 

When considering initiating new collaborations or continuing existing ones, it is important to take into account, assess, and weigh the following areas:

Collaboration between study programmes is is encouraged, which can also apply internationally. Cooperation with the same partner institution can provide benefits. 

KI advocates for strategic international partnerships with collaboration on multiple levels. The chances for stable and well-functioning collaborations increase if new partnerships build upon existing and well-established research collaborations. 

The chances for successful collaboration increase if the prospective partner has previous experience in internationalisation and an organisation for it. 

Student interest in exchange with the respective institution is crucial for successful student exchanges. 

In collaborations involving mobility, we should strive for reciprocity, meaning that the exchange of students, teachers, and administrative staff should occur in both directions. 

KI aims for a broad geographical distribution of collaborations. The institution's geo-cultural location can add extra value to education. 

We have a responsibility to ensure that cooperation takes place responsibly and securely. Consideration should be given to the security situation in the country and for individuals, and if there is a need for risk analysis. Read more under Resources for responsible Internationalisation.

Education, administration, and social aspects 

To support discussions with new institutions and cooperation and when evaluating existing ones, the following questions can be used as a checklist:

Structure, content, and quality of education 

In student exchange, KI's starting point is that the period of study abroad must be recognized in the student’s regular education. A prerequisite for cooperation is that students from the partner institution can also take advantage of what KI offers, so the questions are relevant for both parties in the discussions.

  • Is the institution accredited in the home country to award equivalent degrees at university level or equivalent? 
  • What is the scope of the current education and at what level (basic or advanced level) is it? 
  • What are the goals of the education? 
  • What does the content and structure look like? 
  • Are there corresponding parts? Are there syllabuses/descriptions with learning outcomes? 
  • How is the teaching structured? How are examinations and grading conducted? 
  • Is education provided in English? 
  • Which courses are suitable for exchange at each institution? 
  • What is the relationship between clinical training and theory? 
  • What is the structure of the clinical training and how is the connection between the institution and the hospital? 
  • How is the level of English language proficiency among teachers and students? 
  • Can students receive credit for their study period abroad? 
  • How is the integration of exchange students with local students managed? 
  • Does the institution/education have strong profile areas? 

Practical and social aspects during the exchange 

For an exchange to be successful, it also requires that the administrative and social reception of both students and teachers works well, and that practical issues are efficiently resolved.

  • Are there administrative resources at the institution to manage the collaboration/exchange? 
  • What services does the institution offer? 
  • Examples include reception and introduction, assistance in finding accommodation, opportunities to attend language courses (free or at cost), and participation in social activities. Does the institution provide necessary certificates for visa applications, etc., in good time? 
  • What is the cost of living?  
  • How is the security assessed in the country, city, and at the university, and what measures are taken to increase security if necessary? 
  • What opportunities are there to meet local students? 
  • How are programs for stay/teaching developed for teachers and what do the programs contain?


If you have questions or need support, you are welcome to contact the international coordinators at the International Office.