Symposium on Achievements and Prospects of the Online International Collaborative International Learning Program (COIL)

On December 15, Sophia University, Ochanomizu University, and University of Shizuoka jointly held the COIL International Symposium, ” International Collaborative Online Learning Program on Human Security and Multicultural Coexistence,” at the International Conference Hall, Building 2, Yotsuya Campus, Sophia University. The symposium was held both online and in person, and about 90 people, including those involved in education interested in COIL, participated.

The three universities jointly applied for and were selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for the “Inter-University Exchange Project: Support for the Formation of Collaborative Programs with U.S. Universities using COIL-style Education” for fiscal year 2018 (FY 2018). The three universities and 10 U.S. universities have been operating the project in collaboration for the five-year period of the grant, and a symposium was held this year, the final year of the project, to summarize this project.

Opening remarks by President of Sophia University
Report of the project by Vice President for Academic Affairs of Sophia Univeristy

The symposium commenced with opening remarks by Yoshiaki Terumichi, President of Sophia University and Eiji Watanabe, Counselor for International Affairs, MEXT Higher Education Bureau, followed by a two-part program.

In the first part, the project director, Takashi Irohara, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Sophia University, first reported on the initiatives and outcomes of the educational programs developed by the U.S. partner universities and the three Japanese universities in a cooperative framework based on four programs. The four programs are: (1) mobility program with COIL, (2) “circulation” inbound program, (3) applying COIL in academic courses, and (4) Educational development initiatives in collaboration with Jesuit Worldwide Learning.

These four multi-level educational programs allow students to participate flexibly according to their individual needs, and students who would otherwise have difficulty studying abroad can now expand their global learning experience by collaborating with U.S. universities through COIL while still on campus.

As for future prospects, the three universities stressed that they would continue to implement and develop COIL on a university-wide basis even after the project is completed, based on the common awareness among the three universities that COIL will realize “increased freedom in learning and education while providing diverse opportunities for international learning.” The three universities also reported that they will continue to collaborate and implement the joint online program with Gonzaga University in the U.S., developed through this project, even after the project is completed.

In addition to this, in the first part, faculty members from the three universities in charge of COIL introduced various case studies and a panel discussion was held among the students who had taken the course, sharing the learning effects of COIL based on their own experiences. In the second part, a panel discussion was held among the vice presidents of the three universities (Sophia: Vice President for Academic Affairs Takashi Irohara, Ochanomizu: Trustee / Vice President Masako Ishii Kuntz, Shizuoka: Vice President for International Exchange Hisao Tomizawa), which concluded with a message to other universities interested in COIL.

Report of the COIL implementation by the faculty from three universities
Panel discussion with COIL experienced students
Panel discussion by Vice Presidents from the three universities

The symposium video will be available for viewing until March 31, 2023.

English (simultaneous translation)

Sophia University

For Others, With Others