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Oct 28, 2021 | School of Business

Collaborative online learning between Switzerland and Canada

International collaboration is key in tackling the global challenges our societies face. Partnering with Pilon School of Business (PSB) of Sheridan College in Canada, the FHNW School of Business provides the opportunity for students to collaborate across borders and connect with peers from across the globe.

Prof. Nikolina Fuduric of FHNW and Prof. Wayland Chau of PSB designed a collaborative online international learning experience (COIL) for their students. The four-week programme focusing on sustainability kicked off with an initial discussion on the ethics of mandatory vaccination at colleges and universities. The insightful and lively exchange highlighted differences in the mindsets of the Swiss and Canadian students.

«The international collaboration at the FHNW brings up the importance of cultural differences which can add value and expertise.»

Lisa Michenet, student FHNW

Simulation game

In the next two COIL classes, students from both schools worked together in an online simulation game developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The simulation had the students manage fishing companies to experience the “tragedy of the commons”. This theory postulates that a freely available but limited resource system, in this case fish in the ocean, will collapse from over-exploitation. Therefore, the students not only had to manage the economic aspects of their fleets, but also found out that they needed to re-scale and coordinate with the other groups to keep their venture sustainable.

In the final COIL session in November, Prof. Fuduric will focus on systems thinking as a method to approach sustainability challenges. By taking into account the inherent interconnectedness and various interdependencies, students will gain a deeper understanding of causality in dynamic and constantly evolving systems.

«It was a memorable experience in terms of getting to know the students and getting an insight into what is going on in another country. »

Marene Gallimore, student PSB

Longstanding cooperation

The collaboration between the FHNW School of Business and Sheridan College started more than a decade ago with the award-winning Canadian Academics Studying Europe (CASE) programme. CASE was developed to help educators better appreciate the importance of international experience and learn how to maximise its benefit for their students. Since then, student and faculty exchange between Canada and Switzerland have become a prime example of the internationalisation efforts at FHNW.

Further information

Degree programmes FHNW School of Business

International partnerships