In November 2019, scholars and practitioners from ten higher education institutions celebrated the launch of the iKudu project. This project, co-funded by Erasmus+ , focuses on capacity development for curriculum transformation through internationalisation and development of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) virtual exchange. Detailed plans for 2020 were discussed including a series of site visits and face-to-face training. However, the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the plans in ways that could not have been foreseen and new ways of thinking and doing came to the fore. Writing from an insider perspective as project partners, in this paper we draw from appreciative inquiry, using a metaphor of a mosaic as our identity, to first provide the background on the iKudu project before sharing the impact of the pandemic on the project’s adapted approach. We then discuss how alongside the focus of iKudu in the delivery of an internationalised and transformed curriculum using COIL, we have, by our very approach as project partners, adopted the principles of COIL exchange. A positive impact of the pandemic was that COIL offered a consciousness raising activity, which we suggest could be used more broadly in order to help academics think about international research practice partnerships, and, as in our situation, how internationalised and decolonised curriculum practices might be approached.
- COVID-19; internationalisation of higher education; decolonisation; COIL; virtual exchange; Erasmus+