News & Events

31 May 2022

Tackling global challenges through virtual international exchange

The US-UK Fulbright Commission and American Council on Education today announced the pilot cohort of Scholars for the Global Challenges Teaching Award. This award is the first of its kind that provides an opportunity for US and UK university teaching faculty to introduce virtual international exchange into an existing undergraduate programme.

Using the COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) method of teaching, The Global Challenges Teaching Award will promote digital innovation and democratise international exchange by bringing together classrooms on both sides of the Atlantic to address the global challenges of our time. This year’s cohort will be focusing on three pressing issues: pandemics, climate change and racial justice, with the unique opportunity to share and compare knowledge across nations, widen their perspectives and build all important transatlantic links that will help tackle these challenges collectively.

Six Scholars from the US and the UK have been paired by the Fulbright Commission and ACE to collaborate on a respective global challenge

  • Amal Abu-Bakare from Liverpool University, and George Daniels from the University of Alabama, will focus on the global challenge of racial injustice through their classes studying ‘The Politics of Race and Marginalization’ and ‘Race, Gender, Media’ respectively.
  • Johnathan Kennedy from Queen Mary University of London, and Jessie Dubreuil from University of California, Santa Cruz, will focus on the global challenge of pandemics through their classes studying ‘Health Inequalities and the Social Determinants of Health’ and ‘Pandemics, Politics and Community Health: Global rhetoric’s of Health and Illness’ respectively
  • Samantha Buzzard from Cardiff University, and Staci Strobl from Shenandoah University (Virginia), will focus on the global challenge of climate change through their respective classes studying ‘Global Climate Change’ and ‘Environmental and Wildlife Crime’ respectively.


Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission, Maria Balinska, commented:

“To solve global challenges we urgently need to bring together the minds and the energy of people from all cultures and backgrounds. That’s why we’re excited to be launching the Global Challenges Teaching Award, an award that has collaboration and dialogue at its very heart. Our belief is that these awards will deepen and widen understanding of some of the critical problems facing humanity at the same time as promoting global citizenship and building sustainable relationships between scholars, students and universities across the Atlantic.”

ACE President, Ted Mitchell commented: “It has never been more acute for higher education to find innovative ways to sustain our democratic principles, expand global learning practices, and build human connection. Our shared global challenges demand that we in higher education work together to develop long-term strategies that invest more resources into collaboration and partnership and create innovative delivery models to better support lifelong learning.”

Over the next few weeks, scheduled training events with the ACE will commence, bringing all grantees together to learn about previous effective COILs, and the technological platforms that help to connect institutions with different online teaching methods.

Over the summer, grantees will begin their exchange visits to learn more about each other and their partnered institution. Fulbright also hopes to provide additional workshops for the grantees and their institutional administrators to engage in open discourse around the core issues of each global challenge, with input from relevant industry professionals.

To find out more about the Global Challenges Teaching Awards, ahead of the next 2023-24 academic year application cycle, visit the award pages or email