In common with universities in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, increasing numbers of Australian universities have established offshore education partnerships, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. More than one-third of international students currently enrolled in Australian university courses study at a campus in their home country or somewhere other than in Australia (IDP 2002). Such partnerships, also assumed under the rubric of 'transnational education' and 'franchising', add additional challenges, complexities and risks to the roles of international education managers and administrators. Using convergent interviews and case studies, this paper identifies and examines the critical success factors for the successful establishment and development of relationships between Australian universities and their international partners. Critical among these are the development of effective communication structures and frameworks, the building of mutual trust, and the encouragement and demonstration of commitment between relationship partners.