Thematic Network on Collaborative Online International Learning and Biodiversity Education across the Arctic Circle (COIL@UArctic)

COIL@UArctic is a future-focused, globally connected, virtual learning strategy for UArctic members and non-members with a focus on Biodiversity Education.  COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) is designed to enhance graduate employability by promoting interdisciplinary, intercultural, and transversal skill development. 

COIL has the potential to democratize student mobility and strengthen international learning opportunities for students, faculty, and researchers using freely available online tools. COIL pedagogy enables issues of global concern to be explored through experiential, collaborative learning techniques.

One of the most urgent is the rapid decline in biodiversity due to the unsustainable use of natural resources, climate change, the fragmentation of ecosystems, the spread of invasive species, the destruction of habitats, and other human activities.


Within the context of the Arctic dialogue, the network has four key aims:

  1. To promote and enable wider engagement with COIL as part of a future-focussed, globally connected, virtual learning strategy.
  2. To highlight the importance of biodiversity for the well-being of the planet as well as for sustainable development.
  3. To enhance student employability within the Arctic region through the promotion of future-focussed, inter-disciplinary, transversal skill development using COIL.
  4. To democratise student mobility and strengthen internationalisation at home through the expansion of COIL knowledge and opportunities across the Arctic region.


Building on the recent experience of three UArctic members in Maine, Eastern Finland, and Scotland and following further collaboration with new partners (see partner list) planned activities include the co-creation of:

A COIL@UArctic Toolkit, Training, and Resources

  • Webinar Workshop for UArctic Members exploring COIL as a recognised teaching and learning approach across UArctic.
  • Dedicated COIL@UArcticwebsite explaining what COIL is, what the benefits are, and how prospective partners can connect with each other.
  • Dedicated Staff Development Area on the new COIL@UArctic website including project start-up guidelines; best practice examples and case studies; COIL teaching, learning and assessment resources; digital skills support; internal and external training opportunities; peer support; and access to global COIL networks. 

Other Information

We are currently looking for UArctic member institutions, who have already ran COIL (or virtual exchange) projects with their students. We would like to include project examples and best practice advice in our new COIL@UArctic website, and have your feedback and suggestions on the planned content of the website. If you have such examples and are interested in sharing your experience – please contact our team on