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Existing Collaborations: Which Education Levels Are Most Common for Different Collaboration Types?

July 2015

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB International

AACSB International’s member schools often report various types of collaborations with other educational institutions to provide their students and faculty with additional opportunities. Some of these collaborative efforts focus on faculty exchanges or research; others help schools find ways to share resources; and some of the most visible collaborations focus on the student experience from student exchanges to more complex efforts like full dual degree programs.

As part of AACSB’s ongoing initiative to learn more about how schools collaborate to best leverage the resources available, the annual AACSB Collaboration Survey collects data on both any collaborative agreements currently in effect and those areas where schools desire to expand with new collaborations. Each existing collaboration reported may include more than one collaboration type or collaborative partner in order to capture some of the complexities of the network of collaborations at AACSB member schools.

The 2013–14 Collaborations Survey includes data for 474 schools. The data below reflect existing collaborations. For some collaboration types that involve students or degree program delivery, the education levels involved can be a key factor in describing the reach of the collaboration, so participating schools are able to select an education level where appropriate.

Percentage of Existing Collaborations by Reported Education Level


Note: Existing Collaborations with no specified education level were excluded from this table. Each individual collaboration contains at least two schools and may include multiple collaboration types. The education level for each activity type is independent of the education levels reported for other activity types within that collaboration agreement.

Collaboration Types Most Commonly Reported as Available at the Undergraduate Level

Three of the collaboration types listed are most common at the Undergraduate Only level: Articulation/Twinning Agreements (53.6 percent), Study Abroad/Student Exchanges (42.2 percent), and Validation Agreements (42.5 percent). If we also include any of the multilevel agreements that contain Undergraduates, the data show that 78.4 percent of the Articulation/Twinning Agreements, 79 percent of the Study Abroad/Student Exchanges, and 67.5 percent of the Validation Agreements are available to students at the Undergraduate level for the reported collaboration types.

Articulation/Twinning Agreements

Study Abroad/Student Exchange

Validation Agreement

Collaboration Types Most Commonly Reported as Available at the Master’s Level

At the Master’s Only level, Dual Degree/Multiple Degrees, and Joint Degrees are reported the most often with 59.4 percent of Dual Degree and 70.2 percent of Joint Degree Collaborations being reported as available only at the Master’s level. If the category is expanded to include any multilevel collaborative agreement that included the Master’s level, Dual Degree programs are reported as available at the Master’s level in 70.9 percent of the reported agreements, and Joint Degrees are available at this level for 76.5 percent of collaborations reported.

Dual Degree or Multiple Degree


Joint Degree


Collaborations at the Doctoral Level

While there were collaborations reported at the Doctoral level for each of these types, Doctoral was not the most common level reported for any specific type. Across all collaboration types listed as available at the Doctoral level, Joint Degree (16.7 percent), Validation Agreement (15 percent), and Franchise Agreement (14.6 percent) were the most common.

Note: The 2014–15 Collaborations Survey is now open for data entry. AACSB member schools that participate in the survey are featured within the Collaboration Concourse, and the survey overview reports and benchmarking tools for existing and desired collaborations are available as resources for all AACSB member schools.

See also in this issue: "Collaborations Survey Now Open: Here's Why You Should Participate."