Press Release

AAC&U Launches New Virtual Exchange/Collaborative Online International Learning (VE/COIL) Initiative

The new initiative builds on the American Council on Education’s VE/COIL Transformation Lab, which has now been transitioned to AAC&U.

Washington, DC—The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the American Council on Education (ACE) announced today that the Virtual Exchange/Collaborative Online International Learning (VE/COIL) Transformation Lab has transitioned from ACE to AAC&U, where it has been relaunched as the VE/COIL initiative.

Colleges and universities are seeking new ways to provide students with global competencies that complement traditional forms of physical mobility and academic exchange. Virtual exchange, including one of its most comprehensive forms, collaborative online international learning, is an innovative educational model for meeting this growing need. Using novel teaching approaches that foster online student and faculty collaboration, the VE/COIL approach connects students and classrooms around the world through co-taught multicultural and blended online coursework that bridges physical distance.

Through the VE/COIL Transformation Lab, ACE guided efforts to promote the digital transformation of teaching and learning in US higher education by supporting the creation and implementation of intentional designs for virtual exchange. AAC&U’s Virtual Exchange and Collaborative Online International Learning initiative will build on the successes of the VE/COIL Transformation Lab, expanding its reach and impact and situating the new initiative within the association’s broader efforts to advance the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting equity, innovation, and excellence in liberal education.

“AAC&U is committed to ensuring that all students have opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills they need to be informed and responsible global citizens,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “The VE/COIL model supports that goal by allowing institutions to provide global learning experiences equitably and at scale. We’re thrilled to launch this new initiative and to build on the remarkable accomplishments of the ACE VE/COIL Transformation Lab.”

“We're proud of the role that ACE has played in fostering such an important initiative to transform digital teaching and learning at US colleges and universities, and grateful to AAC&U for its commitment to advancing this vital work,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “I am confident that under AAC&U’s leadership this will continue to be an increasingly significant part of the educational toolkit at institutions throughout this country.”

Learn more about the AAC&U Virtual Exchange/Collaborative Online International Learning (VE/COIL) initiative.

About AAC&U

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is a global membership organization dedicated to advancing the democratic purposes of higher education by promoting equity, innovation, and excellence in liberal education. Through our programs and events, publications and research, public advocacy, and campus-based projects, AAC&U serves as a catalyst and facilitator for innovations that improve educational quality and equity and that support the success of all students. In addition to accredited public and private, two-year, and four-year colleges and universities and state higher education systems and agencies throughout the United States, our membership includes degree-granting higher education institutions in more than twenty-five countries as well as other organizations and individuals. To learn more, visit

About ACE

ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.