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Step-by-step guide on how to get some European universities to collaborate with my institute in Nigeria


Step-by-step guide on how to get some European universities to collaborate with my institute in Nigeria

Establishing international academic collaborations can benefit any higher education institution. With careful planning and due diligence, your Nigerian institute has a good chance of partnering with select universities in Europe. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make this happen:


Research potential partner universities: Start by identifying 3-5 European universities that could be a good match for collaboration based on similarities in research focus, academic programs offered, size, and location. Research each university’s internationalization strategies and existing global partnerships.

Contact university international offices: Reach out to the international/global engagement offices of your targeted universities via email. Introduce your Nigerian institute and mention your interest in exploring collaboration opportunities. Request a meeting with the relevant international partnership manager.


Prepare and submit a proposal: Elaborate on the proposed scope and objectives of your collaboration in a well-written proposal. Highlight potential areas of collaboration such as student and faculty exchange programs, joint research projects, seminars, and workshops. Attach your institute’s profile highlighting achievements, infrastructure, and focus areas. Submit the proposal 4-6 months in advance of the intended collaboration start.

Attend relevant international education fairs: Participating in European education fairs is a good way to connect with multiple universities and spread awareness about your institute. Fairs like the EAIE Conference provide a platform to meet university representatives and international officers directly to discuss partnerships.

Schedule exploratory meetings: Follow up on your proposals and fair interactions. Schedule in-person or virtual exploratory meetings with international officers of interested universities to discuss the proposed collaboration in detail. Address any concerns, identify synergies, and finalize scope before signing agreements.


Sign memoranda of understanding (MoUs): Draft MoUs delineating the broad terms of collaboration such as objectives, roles, and responsibilities of each partner, as financial and logistical commitments. The MoU establishes the framework for a long-term, mutually beneficial collaboration between equals.

Visit partner university campuses: An in-person campus visit is important for relationship building and to address any remaining queries before launching programs. Meeting faculty, students, and leadership will help identify champions to spearhead on-ground implementation.

Implement pilot collaboration programs: Start small by launching 1-2 pilot initiatives of student/faculty exchanges, joint research projects or seminars series suggested in the MoU. Evaluate outcomes to improve future initiatives and establish the feasibility of long-term collaboration.

Attend networking events together: Participating side by side in academic conferences and forums helps build familiarity, familiarity and identify new collaboration prospects together over time.


Evaluate and enhance engagement regularly: Maintain regular contact, monitor MoU execution, collect feedback, and evaluate the impact of engagement. Strengthen existing initiatives based on learnings and add new areas of collaboration. Formalize the partnership further through the establishment of a joint research center or dual/joint degree programs in the future.

With sincere efforts to initiate and sustain communication, European universities can recognize the merit of collaborating with capable partners in Nigeria as well. Starting small and scaling up engagement gradually through a strategic approach usually leads to fruitful long-term institutional collaborations abroad.


All the best!!!

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