Move Structure and Terms of Agreement Reflecting Legal Value in Memoranda of Agreement on Academic Partnerships (MOA)

Marilu Rañosa Madrunio

Date of publication:

December 31, 2020


With the changing landscape in education where internationalization has become one of the main thrusts, academic institutions engage in partnerships with other institutions either within or outside of their home countries to advance their programs. These programs come in various forms: curriculum and instruction, faculty exchange, student mobility, research collaboration, cultural exchange and resource sharing. In forging partnerships, the two parties involved sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Employing Alido’s (2019) study on move structures of MOAs as framework, the paper examined 20 memoranda of agreement, 10 of which were partnerships with international universities and the other 10 partnerships with local institutions and agencies. Results showed that 19 out of 20 employed the following moves: Move 1 (Establishing the intention to collaborate), Move 2 (Describing the scope of collaboration), Move 3 (Stipulating the obligations of both parties), Sub-move 3a (Identifying roles and responsibilities), Sub-move 3b (Indicating terms and conditions); and Move 4 (Signing consent). Moreover, while there were differences in the way the MOAs were drafted, they all employed the six requisites of a legal contract ( and the three requisites in the Philippine Civil Code thereby reflecting legal value. There were, however, some striking results worth noting: 1.) the almost complete absence of the Operative Part in all the MOAs reviewed useful in situating the perspective of the parties involved; and 2.) the complete absence of the notarial acknowledgement in international MOAs.

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