Universities UK (UUK) Guidance to ensure universities protect and develop international partnerships

International partnerships play a vital role in UK’s higher education sector, which makes the institutions diverse and enriched by talent across the globe. In a world where there are new and emerging threats such as cybersecurity, theft of intellectual property and data, research collaborations and security of university campuses the universities needs to ensure that processes and systems are in place to mitigate the risks. The universities are also obliged to uphold the values such as freedom of speech, academic freedom and institutional autonomy. UKK has therefore developed guidelines which will help universities to understand and manage the risks associated with international partnerships. The guidelines focus on the following four key areas:

  1. Protecting reputation and values including building resilience to security related issues, conducting due diligence, and promoting values of UK higher education.
  2. Protecting staff through communications and knowledge sharing as well as those staff and students travelling and working overseas.
  3. Protecting campuses from cyber security attacks and developing estates and visitor policies.
  4. Protecting partnerships including research, intellectual property and transnational education (TNE) partnerships.        

The above guidelines have been developed from input from UK government and has been sent to each of UUK’s 139 members. The UUK has also strongly recommended that each university governing body receives an annual report on how the institution is managing above risks as well as how the risks are being mitigated.

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