Collaborative Online International Learning 2023

Discover the COIL Experience: Project of personal leadership development and its connection with Robert Schuman’s political-resolution method and the basic principles of the European Union, based on the foundations of the Social Doctrine of the Church

The School of Government and Leadership in collaboration with the International Relations degree program offers 15 scholarships for participation and assistance in the COIL Project (Collaborative Online International Learning).

The project, which took place from February 7th to March 25th in 2023, was intended to provide personal leadership training based on “the Father of Europe,” Robert Schuman’s approach to conflict resolution.

The activity has a weight of 2 ECTS credits that can be officially transferred as Complementary Training Activities (CTA). International Relations students will be awarded 1.5 CTA credits and 0.5 credits of an IR Seminar.

What is COIL?

A project of personal leadership based on the figure of Robert Schuman, “the Father of Europe,” and the conflict resolution-oriented founding principles of Europe. Students from La Pontificia Institute (ILP), International Relations and Political Philosophy, MBA and Political Philosophy, and Economics have participated in the project.

This activity is jointly organized with The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS), Francisco de Vitoria University (UFV) and the Management Education Research Institute of Delhi (MERI Group of Institutions).

The course format was initially a 6-week online course, with the selected students working in teams of 8-9 people, alternating days of personal leadership webinars with resolving case studies by applying the Schuman method.

Culmination at the 10th International Schuman Students Congress

The project ended on March 23rd with presentations by mixed groups from the three universities at the 10th International Schuman Student Congress (10th AISSC), the House of Europe, the European Parliament delegation in the Netherlands, and at The Hague University (THUAS). Each group of students made a 10-15 minute presentation to propose a resolution to sensitive issues currently facing for the EU, such as the framework of EU-Russia relations, climate and sustainability, and the migration crisis, among others.

Following these presentations, the students actively participated in a debate in which they were able to reflect on and internalize the main conclusions and ideas of the program with:

  • Jaap de Zwaan, Professor Emeritus of the European Union and former representative of the Netherlands at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg;
  • Margriet Krijtemburg, Professor of the European Studies program at THUAS and Head of Coil in The Hague;
  • María Ángeles Muñoz, Director of the School of Government and Leadership (UFV);
  • Nutan Barthi, Professor at MERI (Delhi).

After the first part of this experience presenting the project’s conclusions, the students traveled to Metz (France) where they delved further in-depth into a biographical and geographical immersion with a tour of Robert Schuman’s most important milestones in France and Luxembourg on March 25th and 26th.

What's next?

After their visit to the University of The Hague, the students had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Peace Palace, a place of eminent historical and institutional relevance for hosting the first world peace conference and as the current headquarters of numerous judicial institutions (the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the Hague Academy of International Law).

On Saturday, March 25th, the students had the opportunity to visit Maison Robert Schuman in Scy Chazelles, a privileged place of reflection, meditation and meeting for the French politician, where he developed his political strategy for approval of the Schuman Plan and the adoption of the Declaration of May 9, 1950. They also had the opportunity to visit the Father of Europe’s tomb, which is currently undergoing the process of beatification. 

On their tour of Metz, the students visited the cathedral, the heart of the city, and the place where the politician attended numerous events such as the beatification and canonization of Saint Joan of Arc, also from Alsace-Lorraine, and where the state funeral was held after his death.

The students completed their Schuman itinerary with a visit to Luxembourg, an essential city for understanding the framework of broad humanistic training and democratic conviction of the man who considered borders to be a point of contact rather than of division.

This first edition of COIL has been highly transformative, and we are proud to share that other universities are interested in joining the project in the next edition. We are committed to the comprehensive education of our students, providing them with experiences that go beyond the classroom and contribute to their personal and professional development.

For more information on how to participate in future editions of COIL and other exciting initiatives, stay tuned for our updates!