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Transforming Curricula Through Internationalisation and Virtual Exchange (iKUDU)


KA2 Erasmus+ Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education project)




Albina Szeles, Coventry University Academic Staff from Faculty


Centre for Global Learning, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

University of Antwerp, Belgium

University of Sienna, Italy

Central University of Technology, South Africa

Durban University of Technology, South Africa

University of Limpopo, South Africa

University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa (Project Leads)

University of Venda, South Africa


Project lead: Professor Katherine Wimpenny, with Dr Alun DeWinter, Dr Luca Morini


15 November 2019 to 14 May 2024

Project overview

The project aims to contribute to developing a contextualised South African concept of internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC), which will be embedded in the broad context of curriculum transformation. Such transformation includes infusion of indigenous knowledge, Africanisation, decolonisation, and reference to the contemporary local context. The project aims to conceptualise COIL as a specific curriculum internationalisation intervention. It acknowledges the IoC at different localities in South Africa to develop a contextualised South African concept of COIL virtual exchanges, as an integral aspect of curriculum transformation. It will develop the necessary capacity in higher education to advance curriculum internationalisation and transformation

Project objectives

1. Specific objectives regarding internationalisation of HE institutions, and specifically purposeful IoC, and relevant policy development 

  • Matchmaking for interdisciplinary project work within and between participating universities
  • Investigate curriculum internationalisation and transformation at Higher Education institutions in the partner country South Africa, by reviewing and/or developing policies, and determine structural development status and needs
  • Analyse context-specific internationalisation and transformation of the curriculum for South African higher education, develop strategic documents to guide curriculum internationalisation and transformation at South African partner universities, and promote the practical adoption thereof
  • To build capacity for enhancing the relevant scholarship of teaching and learning
  • To explore the relationship between internationalisation and decolonisation
  • To conceptually connect the concepts of Africanisation and Europeanisation with internationalisation
  • To understand frameworks for collaboration between research-led and comprehensive universities
  • To understand the conceptual link between decolonisation, Africanisation, Europeanisation and other relevant concepts
  • To develop a management model for implementation

2. Specific objectives regarding COIL virtual exchanges

  • To investigate current state and potential of COIL virtual exchange projects at participating universities, design and implement pilot COIL virtual exchange projects, developing trainers for phase two
  • Implement new strategic documents developed in the project lifespan relevant to curriculum internationalisation which integrate COIL virtual exchanges
  • To develop a structural model for the implementation of virtual exchanges
  • To coordinate, implement, and evaluate the COIL training programme at South African partner universities, using both European and South African trainers
  • To establish a COIL hub for South Africa
  • Developing joint teaching opportunities between European and South African universities

3. Specific objectives relating to training

  • To develop training materials and coordinate the training of teaching staff who will be involved in COIL virtual exchange
  • To coordinate, implement, and evaluate the COIL training programme at South African partner universities, using both European and South African trainers
  • To conduct staff training on curriculum transformation and internationalisation
  • To conduct staff training on COIL virtual exchanges

4. Specific objectives relating to sustainability and scalability

  • To develop sustainable communities of practice on curriculum internationalisation
  • To develop sustainable communities of practice on COIL virtual exchanges
  • To develop a comprehensive teaching staff training manual COIL virtual exchanges


In order for higher education institutions to stay truly relevant and impactful, they need to be able to respond to global trends and patterns of higher education and internationalisation. Digitisation is one of the critical aspects of the 4th industrial revolution, which is currently unfolding. The project will be innovative in that it will connect large numbers of students utilising digital technology, thereby allowing students to gain international exposure irrespective of socio-economic background, gender or disability status. Internationalised and transformed curricula which integrate COIL virtual exchange are a new model for the higher education teaching and learning which will allow all students to develop the graduate attributes required for success and employability in a globalised world. Innovative aspects of the transformed and internationalised curricula will include incorporation of indigenous knowledge systems and diversification of the knowledge paradigms.

COIL Virtual Exchanges:

  • 55 sustained COIL exchanges will be established (15 during the pilot phase + 40 during the rollout phase in year 2 and year 3)
  • 55 academic teachers will be trained on COIL virtual exchanges
  • Guidelines on embedding COIL exchanges in curriculum internationalisation and transformation process will be published
  • A handbook with clear indications on COIL course development and delivery methods, including examples for pilot COIL projects, to adopt in their teaching and learning strategies will be published
  • Toolkit for COIL exchanges in South Africa published online
  • Community of practice on COIL virtual exchanges established will be established in SA
  • Model for COIL exchange evaluation will be developed and implemented at programme and individual level.
  • 90 COIL exchanges will be evaluated


A total of 2625 students from Europe and 2625 students from SA will engage in COIL virtual exchanges


To include: Publications, international conferences, resources, National and local HE policy impact

Find out more about the iKUDU project

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023