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Collaborative Online International Learning at Concordia University of Edmonton

Welcome to the COIL Project on Management, an exciting collaboration between Concordia University of Edmonton (CUE), Beijing Foreign Studies University in China (BFSU), and Avans University in the Netherlands. COIL or Collaborative Online International Learning, is an innovation to pedagogy and curriculum that engages students online with students in another region or country. COIL connects accredited courses, linking the classrooms of two or more higher education institutions, each located in a different cultural setting. COIL Collaborations between students and professors provide meaningful, significant opportunities for global experiences built into programs of study.

Starting in the fall term of 2023, this innovative project aims to provide students with a unique opportunity to engage in a cross-cultural learning experience and gain a global perspective in the field of management. Through virtual exchange programs, joint coursework, and collaborative projects, students will have the chance to explore different management practices and perspectives from around the world. This partnership between esteemed international institutions fosters cultural understanding, global collaboration, and professional development. Join us on this transformative journey, as we prepare future leaders equipped with the skills and insights to navigate the complexities of today’s global business environment.

“The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration, our growth is limited to our own perspectives.”

Robert John Meehan

COIL PROJECT 1: Business Simulation Case Study

In this COIL project, the students from CUE and BFSU will work on the Golf Simulation Project. The Golf Simulation Project stands as an exemplary collaborative venture between students from Concordia University of Edmonton in Canada and those from Beijing Foreign Studies University in China. This dynamic initiative unites a diverse group of aspiring golf course management enthusiasts who share a keen interest in the strategic and operational aspects of managing a golf course. Through a collaborative online platform, participants engage in an immersive learning experience that transcends geographical boundaries. Utilizing state-of-the-art simulation technology, students delve into the intricacies of golf course management, including maintenance, resource allocation, marketing, and customer service. By working together, students gain invaluable insights into the complexities of the golf industry while developing cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills. This COIL project not only enhances the participants’ understanding of golf course management but also fosters intercultural connections and friendships between students from Concordia University of Edmonton and Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Concordia University of Edmonton

Business Fundamentals (BUS 110A Fall 2023)

Instructor: Mr. Jeff Fitzner


Transitioning an owner/operator construction entity to a full service commercial and residential, multi-family construction firm highlighted Mr. Fitzner’s tenure with these organizations. This entailed developing a policy- based, team led culture to drive critical initiatives, including: the firm’s mission, vision, and values; multi-year strategic plan; annual budget; and the introduction of safety and risk management programs.

Beijing Foreign Studies University, P.R. China

Introduction to Business

Instructor: Dr. Xinjie Zhao


Dr. Xinjie Zhao has been teaching at the International Business School of Beijing Foreign Studies University since 2002 when she graduated with a Master in Applied Linguistics. Later she obtained an MBA from Staffordshire University in the UK and then her doctorate degree from Beijing Foreign Studies University.

 She has been teaching such courses as Introduction to Business, Global Human Resource Management, Doing Business in China, and Business English. Her students include local Chinese students and international students from over 60 countries. She has an interest in studying cross-cultural communication. 


The project focuses on exploring and implementing sustainable strategies throughout the supply chain, including sourcing, production, transportation, and distribution. By leveraging their collective expertise and cultural perspectives, students work collaboratively to identify and address environmental and social challenges in the global supply chain. This project not only enhances the participants’ understanding of sustainable practices but also promotes cross-cultural learning and fosters a network of future sustainability leaders between Concordia University of Edmonton in Canada and Avans University in Netherlands.

Concordia University of Edmonton

Operations Management (MGT 320A Fall 2023 )

Instructor: Dr. Ashish Thomas


Dr. Thomas brings over 30 years of progressive management experience in operations, supply chain, project management, quality, and continuous improvement initiatives. Dr. Thomas is currently training business students in the areas of Operations, Supply Chain, Business Ethics, and Strategic project management at Concordia University of Edmonton, Canada. Dr. Thomas employs a project-based approach to incorporate the recent advances in the industry and link industry trends to classroom experiences. Dr. Thomas is passionate about engaging students to cultivate passion and excellence in the profession.

Avans University of Applied Science, Netherlands

Lecturer Bachelor Finance & Control program

Instructor: René-Pascal van den Boom, MSc and Med


His expertise lies in the areas of sustainable reporting, financial & risk management, sustainable investments & financing and management control. He teaches courses in finance, management accounting, mathematics and risk management (treasury) in the Finance & Control programme. René-Pascal is conducting PhD research into financial risk management in medium-sized companies in the Netherlands. The research period runs from February 2013 to December 2016.

Avans University of Applied Science, Netherlands

Senior Lecturer, Project Lead  and Head of Internationalisation

Instructor: Joost van Hilst, MBA


Joost van Hilst’s expertise is in the field of strategic management, corporate entrepreneurship, sustainable strategy, business development, innovation and change management (the people side of implementing a great strategy), and is mainly driven by pragmatic-idealism. 

For more information about COIL at CUE, or interested in finding a COIL teaching partner at CUE or CUE’s partner universities, please contact international@concordia.ab.ca