Universiteit Leiden

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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 >>

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