On January 10, 1997, the Board of Governors approved a proposal establishing the University of North Carolina Exchange Program (UNC-EP). The purpose of UNC-EP is to develop and implement inter-institutional exchange agreements. The goal is to provide an expanded range of international educational opportunities to UNC students at low cost. The efficiency of a system-wide effort will avoid the unnecessary duplication of exchange agreements, will add flexibility in meeting the diverse needs of UNC students and institutions, and will enrich the international programs at smaller UNC campuses lacking resources to conduct extensive international student exchange programs on their own.
The constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina have a long history in conducting study abroad programs. Interest in study overseas continues to grow as increasing numbers of students include international experiences in their degree programs. The critical importance of these programs is a major priority of the University-wide Council on International Programs (UCIP), an advisory body formed to promote international education, under the aegis of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Students can participate currently under an institutionally negotiated bilateral exchange agreement between a foreign institution and their own. Such agreements permit a balanced one-for-one exchange of students between the UNC institution and the foreign institution. There is no net increase in the number of students served, thus no net cost to the institutions in terms of tuition revenues. In- or out- of-state students from UNC are charged their normal tuition and counted for FTE purposes as if they were attending their home UNC institution. Correspondingly, students coming to the UNC institution from the foreign institution are charged their regular tuition, which is paid to the foreign institution, and counted in the foreign institution's enrollment. Credit from courses taken by all students participating in the exchange is recorded on the respective home institution's transcripts and, where it has been approved for that purpose, satisfies graduation requirements. The benefit to North Carolina is that all UNC students pay their normal UNC tuition to participate in exchanges, and in many cases can attend foreign institutions at a much lower expense than if required to pay tuition to that institution.
These guidelines address the development of interinstitutional agreements to be made by UNC institutions involving student exchange programs. This will facilitate system-wide exchanges with individual or groups of institutions overseas. An initial program began in 1996-97 involving the UNC campuses and the collection of nine universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. The University of North Carolina-Exchange Program (UNC-EP), has been established as a means to develop and implement future cooperative exchange programs on behalf of UNC.
I. Administration and Governance
A Central Administrative Unit will be established to administer UNC-EP. It will be housed initially in the international programs office at UNC Greensboro. A campus liaison, experienced in international program administration, will be appointed at each institution for assistance with program implementation for UNC-EP, and an Advisory Board appointed by UCIP will provide policy recommendations. Authority on final policy decisions rests with the President of the University of North Carolina, who will make annual reports to the Board of Governors.
II. The host institution will commit to hosting the UNC-EP Central Administrative Unit for five years. The location of UNC-EP will be reviewed every five years by the UNC-EP Advisory Board, which will inform the UCIP and the Chancellors of UNC institutions when the review is to take place. Any UNC campus may make a proposal to host the Central Administrative Unit. The Advisory Board’s
recommendation for the location of the Unit will be reported to UCIP; with its approval, the recommendation will be forwarded to the President through the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.
III. Membership for the UNC-EP Advisory Board includes five UCIP institutional representatives elected by the 16 voting members of UCIP, to include one representative each from research, doctoral and baccalaureate institutions and two representatives of comprehensive institutions. The Advisory Board is chaired by a representative of the Office of the President; the chair is a voting member of the Board and is designated by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. The UNC-EP Director is an ex-officio, non- voting member of the Board. Advisory Board members serve two-year terms and may be re-elected for a second two-year term.
Actions of the Advisory Board require a majority vote; three voting members shall constitute a quorum. In the event of a tie vote, the matter will be brought to UCIP for consideration. The Advisory Board meets twice a year unless additional meetings are required.
IV. If the position of UNC-EP Director becomes vacant, the President or designee will appoint an eight-member search committee consisting of the six members of the UNC-EP Advisory Board and two additional members representing the UNC-EP host campus, selected by its Chancellor. One member from the host campus will be the director of international programs (or the equivalent) who will be responsible for coordinating the search effort. After recruiting appropriate candidates and interviewing finalists, the search committee will make a recommendation to the Chancellor of the host campus, who, with the approval of the President, will hire the Director of the UNC-EP.
V. The Exchanges. There will be a balance of incoming and outgoing UNC-EP students at the participating UNC institutions over the life of the exchange agreements. The UNC students will be enrolled as regular degree candidates at their home UNC institutions, with credits toward the degree awarded by the home institution.
VI. Fees and Funding. Participating institutions may be assessed an institutional participation fee to provide basic operating support for UNC-EP. A graduated fee schedule may be implemented based on the level of institutional participation, and as a means to assure the full inclusion of the smaller UNC institutions. Student participants from UNC will pay for program costs based upon their home institution's regular tuition, appropriate fees for activities, and room and board as applicable. In other words, exchange students will study abroad for the same basic educational costs as if remaining at their home UNC institution.
VII. Details of Implementation. For further guidelines on program implementation and institutional terms please refer to the document entitled “Regulations on Implementing The University of North Carolina Exchange Program” (400.1.4.1[R]) available at the UNC Office of the President or on the website at http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php