International Collaboration Agreements

As one of the world’s most innovative universities, the University of Zurich promotes collaboration across traditional boundaries.To promote international cooperation in teaching, research and other fields of mutual interest, UZH has signed formal agreements with numerous universities and other educational and research institutions around the world. There are different types of agreements which create opportunities that are mutually beneficial to those involved.

1. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

These cooperation agreements are recommended for initial or general partnerships without financial implications. An MoU states the interest between UZH and a comparable international institution to cooperate in teaching and research activities of mutual interest and is used to anchor a research collaboration more officially.

Initiating agreements

Agreements at the level of the institute or faculty are usually initiated by the institute or the faculty. Agreements at the university level are negotiated by Global Affairs in cooperation with the faculties.

Procedure for agreements

UZH provides a template for MoUs (see box). The content can be adapted depending on the project and the negotiations. Global Affairs serves as the main contact for units initiating an MoU, provides support in drafting and concluding MoUs and maintains a database and an archive of the original documents.

Template MoU (DOCX, 981 KB)

Any MoU must be approved by Global Affairs (content aspects) in consultation with UZH Legal Services (legal aspects). Global Affairs coordinates the obtaining of the signatures. On the part of UZH, two signatories are required; one signatory must be a member of the Executive Board of the University.

Procedure for Agreements (PDF, 60 KB)

2. Exchange Agreements

Exchange agreements establish the structure for UZH students to enroll full time at a comparable international institution, while an equal number of students from the counterpart enroll full time at UZH. An MoU is generally executed before the process of negotiating and developing an exchange agreement. The Global Student Experience team is coordinating all exchange agreements for UZH (

Exchange Agreements

3. Joint Teaching Agreements

Joint teaching agreements establish an academic structure to apply shared coursework to two degrees from two universities. Based on this agreement each institution will grant a separate academic award.

Joint Teaching Agreements (in German)

4. Research Project Agreements

For most research projects, no agreement is needed. To anchor the research collaboration more officially, the appropriate form of agreement is the MoU.

For approval of legal aspects of an agreement, Global Affairs works in consultation with UZH Legal Services. If intellectual property and patent laws and rights are involved, the research agreement must also be approved by Unitectra.

Research agreements in the context of the Framework Programs of the European Union and other research agreements are checked by EU Grants Access.

UZH Legal Services (in German)


EU Grants Access

Signature authority policy at UZH

(Reglement über die Unterzeichnung von nicht-finanzwirksamen Verträgen an der UZH, 23.05.2013):

  • University-level agreements: University-level agreements must be signed by two members of the Executive Board of the University or one member of the Executive Board of the University and the Secretary General.
  • Faculty-level agreements: Faculty-level agreements must be signed on behalf of the Faculty by one member of the Executive Board of the University and the Dean or Assistant Dean.
  • Institute-level agreements: Institute-level agreements must be signed by the Dean or Assistant Dean and the Director of the Institute or a Professor of the Institute.