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.


The Thematic Network provides an open access web-resource on Collaborative Online International Learning:

The website includes wealth of resources, advice and best practice for anyone who is interested in developing and running a COIL project in the Arctic context and beyond. It provides information on the COIL pedagogy and its benefits for students, staff and the community in the Arctic region, including the Indigenous Peoples.

It also includes information on how to create a COIL project and how to find a COIL partner, how to incorporate Biodiversity Education and align your COIL project to the Sustainable Development Goals.


COIL@UArctic Thematic Network runs a bi-monthly events programme, on Collaborative Online International Learning in the Arctic. All events within this programme are online and free to attend, and the event details are regularly posted on UArctic News and the UArctic Members Bulletin.

Our next event is on Monday 17 June 2024 4pm BST, please find more details and register on the Event’s page.

You can find the recordings of the previous events in the programme on our YouTube channel.

You may also follow this LinkedIn page to be up-to-date with COIL@UArctic news and events.


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

More information and past activities can be found here.

Video interview: Izzy Crawford (Lead, Robert Gordon University) and Elina Oksanen (Vice-Lead, University of Eastern Finland) of the COIL@UArctic