SUNY Chancellor Highlights Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

April 4, 2013

New York City — State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today highlighted the work of SUNY’s Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) at its annual conference, which has grown to attract 200 participants, 20 percent of whom travelled to New York from institutions of higher education around the world to attend.

COIL is an emerging concept that expands study abroad programs by enabling students to have a significant cross-cultural experience online, in addition to or instead of in-person via “globally-networked classes,” which also serve as portals for SUNY students considering study abroad or for international students considering study at SUNY.

“With a growing focus on providing all of our students – in New York and abroad – with a truly global higher education, SUNY has been at the forefront of COIL since the concept’s inception,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.

“COIL is a crucial part of our global strategy and a vital link to the system’s emerging Open SUNY initiative, which will bring all online courses offered at SUNY onto a shared and comprehensive online environment, making them accessible to all SUNY students, including those abroad,” said Mitch Leventhal, Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs.

This year’s fifth annual conferenceCan Globally-Networked Learning Anchor Internationalization in the Curricular Mainstream? – wraps up today at SUNY Global in New York City. Throughout the conference, attendees shared examples and best practices of globally-networked courses and discussed ways to transform college curriculum so that courses, faculty, and students can be connected internationally.

Sixteen SUNY colleges currently offer one or more of the globally-networked COIL courses coordinated by the Center since it was established in 2006, and a number of additional campuses are on track to begin participation in the coming months. These campuses are also working to develop new COIL courses so that even students who do not study abroad will have expanded access to meaningful intercultural experiences.

Global access to a SUNY education and the internationalization of SUNY’s 64-campus system are among SUNY’s strategic planning priorities. Chancellor Zimpher said that the COIL center will play a role in the system’s latest initiative to expand access with Open SUNY, which is estimated to add 100,000 degree-seeking students to the enrollment total within three years, and contribute to the feasibility of three-year undergraduate degree programs and five-year graduate degree programs.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications