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Creating a partnership agreement

A partnership with a university or organisation outside of the Netherlands must be based on an agreement. In some cases, Leiden University will not have exchanged students or staff with this university before, and you will first need to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Partnerships within or outside of the EU

The partnership that you establish can involve the entire University, a single faculty or just one specific study programme.

Within the European Union, Leiden University has partnerships with other universities in the Erasmus+ programme. Erasmus+ uses its own standard agreements, which are available on the European Commission website

If students or staff wish to spend time at a university that does not participate in the Erasmus+ programme, an individual partnership agreement will have to be created. If the planned partnership is University-wide, you should contact the International Relations department of Student and Educational Affairs (SEA) for advice. However, if the partnership is only between specific faculties, you should ask your faculty’s international exchange coordinator for assistance.

Download an example of a Leiden University exchange agreement >>

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is an agreement in which Leiden University and the prospective partner university declare that they wish to collaborate with one another, now and in the future. At this point, Leiden University has not yet really got to know this future partner.

An MoU will generally cover the following points:

  • Which parties will be collaborating
  • A list of activities in which the parties will collaborate
  • Rules about intellectual property

Leiden University and the partner university do not have to perform all the activities outlined in the MoU. The purpose of the MoU is merely to indicate that you would like to collaborate for a specific period of time. If you decide to actually start one of the joint activities listed in the MoU, you will first need to create an official partnership agreement, specifying precisely what will be done and by whom. 

Your MoU will often be signed by the Rector Magnificus of Leiden University only after this more specific partnership agreement has been created. A copy of the agreement will be held by the International Relations department. 

If you have any questions about an MoU, please contact International Relations >>

International Partnerships

The Faculty of Humanities values the establishment of high-quality academic partnerships that clearly support the Faculty Strategic Plan. Academic partnerships can create routes for international research collaborations, provide enhanced student experiences through exchanges, assist in internationalising the curriculum, bolster research developments and funding opportunities, and ultimately enhance our international position as a leading institution in the Humanities.

Handbook for Academic Partnerships

The Faculty of Humanities developed a handbook which outlines the processes and procedures required to set up and operate successful partnerships that focus on education-related activities. It covers the following types of partnerships: Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs); student exchanges/study abroad programmes; staff exchanges; international credit mobility; double/multiple degrees; dual degrees; joint degrees; cooperation partnerships; and other Erasmus+ activities.

Academic Partnership Form

The main form used for all academic partnerships in development is an Academic Partnership Form (APF). This form is considered for both strategical approval and Faculty Board approval. It may also be used to draft the agreement and therefore staff members should ensure that they fill it in as fully and accurately as possible. Depending on the type of partnership, different considerations must be taken into account. Further advice on completion of an APF is available by contacting the policy advisor Internationalisation or the Humanities International Office (for student and staff exchange agreements).

Contact details

Do you have questions about setting up a partnership within the Faculty of Humanities? Please contact Aurelie van ‘t Slot, policy advisor Internationalisation, Diversity & Inclusion (a.van.t.slot@hum.leidenuniv.nl).

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