Samoa Beat

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The Vice chancellor of Otago University has challenged the National University of Samoa (NUS) graduates of 2019 to take risks in their next steps of life.

Vice Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne from the University of Otago was the keynote address for for the graduation.

She was appointed as the Vice Chancellor (V.C.) for the University of Otago in 2011, having previously been the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) and Head of the Psychology Department.

“I challenge you to build strong relationships with others and to share with others to celebrate diversity”, says Otago VC.

There were 329 graduates from the National University of Samoa.

She shared with the alumnae her journey as a mother to her children and also as a V.C. to Otago University.

Prof. Hayne shared about her journey, encountering so many trials but the thought of her family’s future made her go on and do the impossible.

She attributed to the stong background of Samoans and says its the greatest trait that is found in the islands.

“Your ancestors are risk-takers so never be scared to take the risk”, she added.

She encourages the 2019 graduates to get out there and continue to work and take up any challenges.

She also reminded the alumnae of today to say “Thank You” to their teachers for their hard work throughout their academic journey.

“Today we are celebrating your success, and get ready for what awaits you out there. And remember your ancestors are risk-takers”, she said.

The V.C. from Otago University is at the National University of Samoa on a courtesy visit.

The graduation took place in the E.F.K.S Youth Hall at Mulinuu.

The Business School of Otago University have gifted new text books to the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship of the National University of Samoa.

 

The Dean of Otago Business school Robin Gauld, spoke on behalf of Otago University handing over the new textbooks, in the presence of the N.U.S Vice Chancellor Fui Ilaoa Asofou Soo.

 

Vice Chancellor Fui Leapai Asofou Soo, acknowledge the Dean and Otago Business School for the text books. He says this will help the students of the F.O.B.E with their studies.

 

“It is crucial that we are able to receive these gifts from our partners overseas, because these are not only important to our students, but also to our staff members,” he said.

 

While the donations clearly benefit N.U.S, the Dean says Otago takes pride in what they are able to achieve from a partnership with N.U.S.

 

Gauld says that Otago benefits from the capacity of Samoan students who choose to study in Otago.

 

The partnership between Otago University and N.U.S stretches beyond just the F.O.B.E, but also in the Medicine Programme for N.U.S.

The Media and Journalism class of the National University of Samoa were in Savaii for their four day field trip away from the Island.

The study tour has been an annual trip since 2009 and is now on its 10th year, since the programme started writing news and documentaries on stories discovered in the Island.

The tour as per curriculum is an exposure trip to a place that holds great historical importance.

The core objective was to give the students the opportunity to put all their theoretical, classroom knowledge into practice.

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With this, students have sharpened their skills in sourcing/new gathering, interviewing, writing and ultimately creating untold stories that are both accurate and engaging.

This has also been a great opportunity for capacity building, networking and career building - specialising in areas of culture reporting and investigative journalism, among others.

The current Diploma Media and Journalism students who are on the field trip in an interview shared on how the trip has impacted him as first year student:

“This is my first time on the field trip and it’s a really good way of learning outside of the classrooms. This kind of tour helps students like me to understand more on how to become a ready journalist for the newsrooms,” first year student Fiti Ale said.

“We benefit a lot from this trip as it gives us more idea and knowledge on how we do our work as journalist and also helps prepare us for the future.”

“I got to learn a lot, I gained a lot of confidence for interviewing people and improve my skills for my dream journalism job,” he added.

For this years field trip, the students a have written different stories, from various angles from the chosen study areas; the Salelologa projects, the Falealupo Canopy Walk and Rainforest reserve.

Six students from Michigan University in America had the chance to share their thoughts and experience as Business students at the National University of Samoa.

The special seminar has inspired one N.U.S student to aim high.

Amongst the attendees is the Manager for Student Support Service Mr. Lipine Peresetene and the President for the National University of Samoa Student Association (NUSSA).

One particular student was inspired by the seminar that he has made it a personal goal to work in the finance industry.

“This program has helped me in terms of what I want to become in the future, and for me personally, I want to work in the finance industry within the government”, says Junior Koki Mate.

Junior Koki Mate is a second year Bachelor student under the F.O.B.E. majoring in Accounting and minoring in Economics.

He is also the acting president for F.O.B.E.

“This program has open our minds on some options which I thought didn’t exist”, says Koki Mate.

The leader for the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business, Mr. Eric Messinger says that the purpose of their meeting with the N.U.S student is to gather information on youth career aspirations.

Messinger is the group leader. He is pursuing his Master in Business Administration.

“Our goal is to inform them that they are generating on youth employment in Partnership with the United Nations,” he said.

The Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship has been proactively pushing for more exposure of their students to international talents and personalities such as these. Including the recent special visit from the University Of Otago Business School in the previous week.

The National University of Samoa culture day was held at the N.U.S Gymnasium at Lepapaigalagala.

The special day was to remind the students how important the Samoan culture is and as a reminder of their true identity as a Samoan.

A learner of the School of Medicine expressed his excitement towards the celebration.

“I am so happy because today tells me who I am and where I’m from I love my culture and I’m proud of it,” Sopo Tusani says.

“A lot has been a bad influence to our culture for example the technology. So that is why we all treasure this special day,” he added.

Tusani blames technology for the many youth not being able to get in touch with their cultural inheritance.

All faculties performed the cultural performces: sasa, faataupati, mauluulu and even short Samoan historical skits.

It was an obvious enjoyment for the audience to have been a part of the celebration as waves pour in to give and join in on the dances.

Another learner from the School of Maritime says it’s a different feeling of belonging as she performed.

“I respect my culture because it’s who I am,” Moala Bob Sooalo said.

And what better way to express your love for culture than in front of your own parents.

“After our item I felt alive, maybe because it’s in my blood, and I saw the smile on my parents face,” she said.

“I’m praying this will happen every year because of all the University`s activities this is best activity ever and we should make our ancestors proud,’” she added.

The two Universities in Samoa will face off in a series of sports competitions in the second semester.

 

This was confirmed following a meeting between the U.S.P. Student Association board and the N.U.S.S.A board earlier in the week.

 

During the meeting, a two day fun day event have been set for the second semester of the 2019 educational year.

 

One will be hosted at the N.U.S campus and one at U.S.P Alafua campus.

 

Four sports have been confirmed for these days, including soccer, tag rugby, Ping Pong and Volleyball.

 

The two games NUS will be hosting is touch rugby and soccer while U.S.P will host Ping Pong and Volleyball.

 

They’ve also looked at ways to raise the standard of uni games but that would come after. USP is happy about the idea of having a two-day event. It will have an impact on students from both universities.

 

For a while, U.S.P and N.U.S have not had an inter university sports event. In fact, the last official meet between the two Universities was in 2017.

 

The goal is to pitch together students from the two universities to participate in events like these.

 

This is with the hope that the games will build a better bond between Regional university students and the locals.

 

The date for this two-day event is yet to be confirm. The two boards say that the main challenge with ensuring a date is because of the two different schedules.

 

The NUSSA board will meet again with the USPSA to designate a date for the event.

 

It has been a year since the School of Maritime Training had been involved in big events for the National University of Samoa.

And in their first gig joining in on N.U.S. culture day celebration, the School of Maritime rocked the stage during their breathtaking performances.

This is the first time in this year that the S.O.M.T. has participated in an activity of the National University of Samoa.

“The discipline of the students is one of the biggest reasons why the Maritime hasn’t been participating in the previous events and activities. But we are hoping for a change”, says Carl Joseph Lam.

Carl Joseph Lam is the President of the School of Maritime.

In their first major activity for 2019, the Maritime students came out firing with an array of performance. Including an elaborately put together skit and a costume preparation that showed even sailors and maritime officers can dance.

Mr. Lam couldn’t find the words to express his excitement to have the School of Maritime Training back in the crowd with the entirety of the University students.

The Maritime isn’t allowed to join any physical activities because they were banned from games in the previous year.

“Being able to perform today and see them happy and excited is one thing for me. They have change so much as you can see, we are all bald”, says Mr Lam..

There are some activities coming up, but Mr Lam isn’t sure if the School of Maritime will be participating.

“For soccer if there is one, I am confident we won’t be here to join. However, if a debate will be done then we will sure will,” added Joseph Lam.

Physical activities such as sports it’s a big no for the SOM. They will only participate in academic events.

The S.O.M.T.’s president is proud of his group’s performance. To him, this is what its all about.

A large sum of books donated to the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) by the Victoria University of Wellington (V.U.W) will benefit beyond the University’s borders.

An estimated more than 14,000 university level texts books and reading materials were received by N.U.S this week.

The donation is also valued at a total of USD $40,000 (SAT $120,000).

The National University of Samoa’s Chief Librarian, Avalogo Nanai Togi Aifa'i Tunupopo says the donations contribute greatly to the N.U.S learning and teaching capacity.

“We heavily rely on these donations for our library needs because of the lack of resources we find here and the costs of important our own materials, it makes these types of offers vital to our university growth,” he said.

This donation came through Former Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) AProf. Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and other staff members who are alumnae of the V.U.W.

Lumanuvao says the donations seeks no rewards from N.U.S. As a matter of fact, she says the V.U.W pushes collaborations with N.U.S as part of its recognition of its alumnae who have taken on greater tasks after being students of the university.

Meanwhile, in an age where technological advances continue to push the tide onto the classic ways of education, the Interim Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa, Prof. Silafau Sina Va’ai says books are still a vital part of education.

“We definitely embrace technology and the good that comes with it. It certainly has made it easy to access the materials we need and the students need,” she said.

“But there is a cost to all that, but with books, there is a personal feeling to it, that engages the reader in what they are learning,” she said.

She acknowledged the generous donation from V.U.W.

For N.U.S, the interim Prof. Silafau says in order to keep evolving in the teaching and learning capabilities of its students, more resources as such are appreciated.

However, N.U.S only has two libraries with each only being able to host an estimated total of 300 students at a time.

“The university has been growing, we started with a total 400 students to now an average of 3,300 per semester and that pits more students in our libraries which obviously cannot host a number that high,” says Avalogo.

At the moment, a blueprint plan for a bigger and more accommodating library for the University has been in the pipeline for almost four years. A library that Avalogo says would be able to store all 14,000 books donated and then some.

“It does demand a bigger library for the university. Not only will we be able to make these materials available to our students, but it will also provide them with a learning area where they study,”  V.C. Prof. Va’ai added.

Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic and Research, Sau’ia Louise Mataia-Milo echoed in agreement to Prof. Va’ai’s comments.

“When it comes to books, it defines a person who is willing to learn and a library, would give them a home to learn. That is where we will find those who are thinkers, and thinkers are readers, and readers become leaders,” she added.

For the time being, the plans for the bigger library for N.U.S is only a picture on paper with the hopes that it does become a reality soon enough.

The books will be shared amongst other libraries across the country, including government and private libraries in Samoa, including other universities and tertiary institutes in Samoa.