A record number of more than 7,000 Coventry University students worked on projects with students in 52 countries around the world in the last year, as the university adapted to the impact of Covid on overseas travel.
Coventry University’s Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) programme saw 7,129 Coventry University students participate in 170 different projects led by 141 Coventry University staff with 134 institutions across the globe during the 2020-21 academic year.
The COIL programme involves ‘virtual mobility’ learning experiences that provide students with opportunities to work with international universities and industry professionals to seek to boost their employability. The programme has been running at the university for the last six years but the lack of physical mobility during the pandemic saw the team treble its reach for the 2020-21 academic year.
The global impact of the pandemic inspired a COIL project that saw students from Coventry University and Hosei University in Tokyo Japan work together to study global political responses to COVID-19. Annabel Davies took part in that project and believes the experience helped her graduate with First Class honours and the International Relations Course Director’s Prize for highest attainment in 2021.
The International Relations BA Hons graduate said: “It was a great remote learning experience that helped me meet and work with new people from across the globe who were eager to learn and develop their academic skills. In the COIL my group looked at Brazil’s COVID-19 response, a country that took a very different approach to Western countries.
“There was not a lot of current analysis because there had not been much time to make that analysis, so we then investigated primary sources, on social media and through local news sources. Being involved in the project helped me organise my time and use and develop my skills away from the main pressure of academic work.”
For Coventry University’s Provost Ian Dunn, working with international collaborators and developing a global outlook always enriches the student experience and enhances employability prospects. He said: “Developing thoughts from a global perspective is one of the most important aspects to a modern higher education, seeing points of view from all corners of the globe is crucial.
“These COIL numbers show just how much demand and desire there is to build international relationships that enrich learning and are a marvellous expression of creativity and the human spirit. This would not have been possible without the drive of our academic staff who adopted this innovative model of global learning for the benefit of our students.”
Coventry University was recently recognised among the top 100 universities in the world for ‘International Outlook’ in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2022 .