Press Release

Nineteen Institutions to Participate in New AAC&U Institute on Virtual Exchange/Collaborative Online International Learning (VE/COIL)

The Participants Were Selected as Collaborative International Partnerships through an Initiative that Seeks to Strengthen Higher Education Ties among Norway, the US, and Japan.

Washington, DC—The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the nineteen higher education institutions that will participate as international partners in the Norwegian Panorama VE/COIL Partnerships Initiative, which is sponsored by the government of Norway to strengthen higher education ties with the United States and Japan.

Each of the nine partnerships is composed of a Norwegian higher education institution and one or more higher education institution(s) from the United States and/or Japan selected by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (HK-dir) in consultation with AAC&U. Teams from the participating institutions will work closely with experts from AAC&U and the Institute on Innovative Global Education at Kansai University (Japan) as part of a new AAC&U Institute on Virtual Exchange/Collaborative Online International Learning (VE/COIL), which will be held from March to December 2023.

“HK-dir is proud to be collaborating with AAC&U on this important initiative to promote learning and collaboration between Norwegian universities and their partners in the US and Japan. We see COIL and virtual exchange as relevant tools to foster increased intercultural and digital learning for students and faculty and look forward to following how the partnerships develop,” said Gro Tjore, Deputy Director General at the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills.

Virtual exchange (VE), including one of its most comprehensive forms, collaborative online international learning (COIL), provides affordable opportunities to gain global competencies by linking students and classrooms around the world through co-taught, multicultural, and blended online course work. Using technology to bridge physical distance, VE/COIL also increases opportunities for interdisciplinary innovation and global collaboration between faculty and staff on digital teaching, research, and service learning.

The AAC&U Institute on VE/COIL helps higher education institutions deliver VE/COIL experiences at scale, increase investment and support for cutting-edge global education strategies, strengthen global partnerships and networks, and ensure equitable access to digital forms of global learning.

“A hallmark of global learning is collaboration, and AAC&U is pleased to see the development of international partnerships to facilitate global learning through the Norwegian Panorama VE/COIL Partnership Initiative,” said Dawn Michele Whitehead, Vice President of the AAC&U Office of Global Citizenship for Campus, Community, and Careers. “The Institute provides professional development and resources to support the development of sustained international partnerships for global learning for today’s learners through the powerful practice of COIL. This is a wonderful opportunity to develop and model equitable global learning practices for colleges and universities.”

Following are the nine international partnerships selected for participation:

  • Nord University (Norway) and Babson College (MA-US)
  • The Norwegian School of Economics, Michigan State University (US), and Setsunan University (Japan)
  • The Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Ochanomizu University (Japan)
  • The University of Bergen (Norway) and Florida Gulf Coast University (US)
  • The University of Oslo (Norway), the University of Texas at Dallas (US), and Kansai University (Japan)
  • The University of South-Eastern Norway and the Pennsylvania State University (US)
  • The VID Specialized University (Norway) and St. John’s University (NY-US)
  • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Florida International University (US), and Kansai University (Japan)
  • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (US)

More information is available online at

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