International Policies & Procedures


Policy

In preparing students for entering an increasingly international workplace environment, The University is committed to comprehensive internationalization through the pursuit of activities and experiences which fulfill the needs of this international mission and responsibility. Such activities include collaborative research, training and development, providing study abroad courses and programs, international consulting by faculty and professional staff, and the issuance of degrees and certificates of international exchange for students, faculty and staff.

International activities all have basic structures or attributes that guide their success. These structures include Memoranda of Understanding, formal International Agreements, and Study Abroad protocols. These policies and procedures are intended to assure the best possible outcome and experience for each participant, while protecting the students, faculty, staff and the University engaged in such activities.

The Office of International Programs (OIP) is responsible for administration and operation of all study abroad programs whether initiated through UHV or in partnership with a consortia. OIP shall maintain a website (link this) with access to this policy, all active programs, operational procedures, forms, manuals and/or guides associated with international programs. All procedures on the International Programs website shall be considered a part of this policy. (OIP) shall be responsible for all study abroad agreements and contracts and shall maintain all records necessary for reporting or auditing purposes in accordance with the UH records retention schedule.

All study abroad programs and agreements shall comply with policies and regulations of the University of Houston System (SAM 06.A.11), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and appropriate accrediting agencies as applicable. This policy and all non-standardized written agreements require review by the UHS Office of General Counsel.

Schools and departments with study abroad programs shall work closely with OIP. Although any faculty member or administrator may be an initiator of a study abroad program, the program proposal must meet the requirements set forth by this policy.

Definitions (for purposes of this policy)

Memorandum of Understanding - A non-binding agreement between two or more entities or institutions that opens communication aimed at developing a formal relationship or agreement in the future. A faculty member, professional staff member, or administrator may initiate. Formal review and approval is required prior to execution.

International Agreement - A formal document that commits resources and/or official activities and relationships between individuals or institutions. A faculty member, professional staff member, or administrator may initiate. Formal review and approval is required prior to execution.

Study Abroad - An activity where students/faculty or staff engage in a formal university authorized program that requires international travel to fulfill requirements of a course, to engage in research or study, for personal enrichment, or for fulfilling terms of an International Agreement.

Procedures

  1. International Agreements
    1. Any full time faculty member or administrator may initiate an international agreement.
    2. The initiator will work with the Director of International programs in drafting the agreement.
    3. Agreements must be in compliance with UHS policy, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (when applicable) and appropriate accreditation agencies (when applicable). The agreement must be approved in writing by the dean/s, director/s, vice president of administration and finance (when involving contracted fees), director of international programs, provost, the president, university legal counsel, and the system senior vice chancellor for administration before formal signing.
    4. A program director will be assigned to each agreement and may be a faculty member, administrator, and or the director for international programs.
    5. Agreements may involve multiple institutions.
    6. The agreement will be administered by the program director in consultation with the Director of International Programs.
    7. Compliance and assessment reviews will be conducted by the program director and or the Director of International Programs a minimum of once each year. A compliance and assessment report will be submitted to each institution involved with copies being sent to the president and director of international programs and provost of UHV.
    8. The international agreement must identify detailed expectancies, deliverables of all institutions involved, a mechanism for program compliance review, a budget (when applicable), terms of dissolving the agreement, and the person or persons responsible for oversight.
    9. All agreements involving contracted fees will have appropriate cost centers established through the UHV Office of Administration and Finance. The Office of Administration and Finance will receive an amount equal to eight percent of the gross contract fees for account administration.
    10. Six months prior to the closure date of the agreement, the program director in consultation with the Director of International Programs and dean/s or director/s of the areas involved will review the agreement outcome and recommend closure or extension of the agreement to the president. The president will notify the chief executive officer of the collaborating institution, or institutions, of the recommendation.
    11. The agreement shall contain a termination clause and may be terminated for reasons of war, natural disaster, financial exigency, failure to perform by any of the parties, State/Federal Law, or by mutual written consent of the chief executive officers of the institutions involved. Termination must be in writing a minimum of ninety days in advance of the final termination date.
    12. The Director for International Programs will be responsible for forwarding a list of active international agreements to campus administration (President, Provost, Vice President, Administration and Finance, and UHS administration annually.
    13. The programs evaluations shall be based upon the direct impact of study abroad on its participants to include wherever appropriate 1) language learning, 2) intercultural competence, 3) cognitive/knowledge, 4) affective/attitudes, 5) behavior/skills, 6) disciplinary knowledge, and 7) social and emotional growth.

  2. Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)
    1. Any full time faculty or administrator may be the initiator of an MOU;
    2. The initiator working with the director for international programs and the designee of the collaborating institution will draft the initial MOU document;
    3. The draft document will be forwarded to the appropriate dean/s and/or director/s of identified areas for written approval;
    4. The document will be forwarded to university legal counsel and appropriate UHS officials to review and approve as to form;
    5. Upon approval, the document will be forwarded to the appropriate designate at the cooperating institution for approval.
    6. No state appropriated funds may be used in any activity associated with the MOU;
    7. The president, chief executive officer, or other individual having appropriate signatory authority from each institution shall each execute the agreement. Other signatures may be obtained in keeping with international protocol or institutional policy;
    8. Original signed copies will be retained in the Office of Business Services, which serves as the repository for all original campus contracts. Copies will be retained in the Office of International Programs, President, Deans and/or Directors office and the UHS Office of General Counsel, Office of Contract Administration;
    9. The MOU should be in effect for a minimum of three years and maximum of five years;
    10. Termination of the MOU may be made in writing by either institution. The termination must site the reasons for termination and must provide 30 days notice of termination;
    11. All travel under the MOU will comply with all governing regulations and State appropriated funds may not be used

  3. The Faculty Program Director
    1. Must be approved by his/her dean or director;
    2. Must be an employee of UHV;
    3. Has overall responsibility for planning, developing, and implementing a specific study abroad program;
    4. Is responsible for the completion of all university required student forms and for submitting them to OIP on any faculty lead trips.
    5. Shall avoid all conflicts of interest and/or the appearance of any conflict of interest;
    6. Shall not act as an independent agent while representing UHV in any respect of the study program;
    7. Must complete a post program evaluation in writing to the dean/director and OIP;
    8. Must have had previous international travel abroad experience with students, and/or special training for leading study abroad program for students;
    9. Must provide protocol and cultural orientation to students before departure;
    10. Is responsible for the overall behavior and discipline of persons while abroad;
    11. Must complete on line or other appropriate orientation to foreign law and culture differences as well as with safety issues at least three weeks prior to departure
    12. Must file the required UHV Travel Request form in order to maintain university insurance

  4. The Student Participant
    1. Must be a matriculated student at UHV;
    2. Must complete all required forms and submit them to the faculty program director;
    3. Is subject to all UHV "Student Rights and Responsibilities" while traveling on a study abroad program;
    4. Is subject to all academic rights and privileges, rules, regulations and disciplinary procedures of the host institution;
    5. Is subject to all laws of the country or countries being visited;
    6. In the case of independent or consortia study abroad, must complete all appropriate UHV Study Abroad forms and file them with the OIP office.

  5. The Non-Student Participant

    Participants in faculty led programs who are not UHV students shall complete the same Study Abroad forms required for any UHV students. Participating students, faculty and staff may not extend study abroad stays more than one year without prior approval of OIP.

    List of Forms Used for International Travel

    Non UHV Equivalency

    A-I: Health Disclosure and Medical History

    A-2: Consent to Release Information about Foreign Traveler

    A-3: Proof of Vaccination (if required for country)

     

    S-1: Student Conduct Agreement

    S-2: Study Abroad Student Evaluation Form

    S-3: Waiver and Release for Participant Traveling Independently of Group (if applicable)

    S-4: Assumption of Risk and Release

    I-I: Incident Report