Meet Ms. Sylvia Schroeder

This article acts as the fifth log entry of my 22-day stay in Dublin City University for my PhD thesis and possible research and project collaboration with the host research unit – National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) of DCU.

Today I got the chance to meet Ms. Sylvia Schroeder, the director of international engagement (china, korea, japan) ( And below I share with you the conversation I had with her in an one-hour face to face conversation.


Sylvia is an unexpected contact, which was set up by Colum, whom I just met in the earlier day.

The conversation with Sylvia was far more than productive than expected, again. She is responsible for university partnership/collaboration for DCU in three main Asian countries: China, Japan and Korea.

Different countries have different strategies for global collboration. Japan is more language training partner because DCU has been teaching Japanese for many years. Korea is more for industry collaboration. China is more diverse. And Sylvia said it is not necessarily happening that big university provides better collaboration. For instance, DCU is collaborating with Shantou University, which is not either 211 or 985 universities, but they offer fantastic student support when DCU students were there. Usually DCU partner with 211 or 985 universities in China, mainly for student exchange programmes.

Before they did not have an overall plan for global university partnership, now she is developing one for better partnership with other universities to ensure that when they approach a new university, they have in mind very clearly what to expect and what to collaborate for what purposes. Because now DCU has a lot of university partners but with a lot of them nothing happened yet. So with a global strategy concerning partnership is considered important.

Sylvia will be in China for two years starting from April this year.

One problem she mentioned is:

  • Faculty staff can be very protective of their positions and become hesitant sometimes even resistant to cooperate on the university level.

Some reflections

The faculty staff’s hesitant/resistant behavior towards distance education or university-level collaboration reminds me of MOOC development at USI. It is probably really needed to have an orientation workshop or meetings to put faculty staff together and tell them the story of MOOCs and suggest them to try.

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