Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

What is Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)?

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) is an educational approach which allows students from different geographical and linguacultural backgrounds to work together without leaving their home campus. COIL projects enable students to gain cross-cultural competence, intercultural capability and a variety of collaboration skills which are relevant to their discipline.

Coventry University Group is committed to providing COIL opportunities to students across all of its campuses and in a wide range of disciplines. In a typical year, well over a hundred projects take place, involving up to fifty different countries outside the UK.

COIL projects often make use of new technologies which allow students to connect and collaborate in exciting and engaging ways. A COIL project can therefore take place in ‘real-time’ with students in different countries communicating and interacting ‘live’. Alternatively, projects may take place ‘asynchronously’, with students collaborating on tasks at different dates and times.

What are the benefits?

The world is increasingly connected and graduates need to be ‘global-ready’ to enter and thrive in the workplace. Participating in a COIL project enables students to become ‘global graduates’ in ways which would not otherwise be possible. This is achieved through the following activities which a typical student undertakes:

  • Interacting, engaging and collaborating with peers they would not otherwise have the chance to work with
  • Sharing experiences of their own culture and gaining insight into other cultures
  • Developing communication skills, learning about non-verbal and body language
  • Using digital technologies to collaborate in the same way that they are used in the professional environment

Success stories

Coventry University Group has been nominated or has won numerous awards for its COIL projects. These include shortlisting for the Times Higher Education ‘International Collaboration of the Year’, a Gold Award in the Reimagine Education Discipline Awards and winner in the Guardian University Awards Internationalisation Category.


COIL Projects
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Global Ready
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Work in the UK
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Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021