NUS Press Release 09-06-2022

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Apia, Samoa – Thursday, 9th June 2022.

The “Pacific Attitudes Survey: Samoa,” the first large-scale report of its sort for the region, was launched by the National University of Samoa (NUS) in collaboration with the Australian National University and Swinburne University of Technology.

The Hon. Seuula Ioane, the Minister of Education, Sports, and Culture, applauded the National University of Samoa, the Australia National University alongside the help of the Swinburne University of Technology as well as the Department of Pacific Affairs for organizing such a historic event for the Pacific.

Her Excellency Emily Luck, the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, also commended the partner universities for their assistance in compiling and launching the final survey report. She also noted that the study lays the foundation for our new eight-year relationship with Samoa, simultaneously; it examines a holistic approach to climate change. For that reason, the purpose of this partnership is to stimulate a joint approach in health, education, stability, and social protection, addressing issues recognized by Samoa as most vital.” 

The Acting Vice Chancellor & President of NUS, Afioga Peseta, Dr. Desmond Lee Hang stated ” Professors from A.N.U came to Samoa in 2019,  to negotiate a partnership in undertaking a survey that has been conducted across the globe excluding the Pacific.” In fact, the Pacific region is the only region that is not covered by global democracy and values survey such as the Global Barometer Surveys and World Values Survey. As a result, we recognized the value of their proposal and we proceeded with the research project.  

Professor Muagutuati’a Ioana Chan Mow emphasized that the survey included 181 questions organized into 26 thematic modules and she thankfully acknowledged the Ministry of Women and Social Development for assisting her and the rest of the surveyors in reaching out to the 1300 participants, whom she referred to as the sui o nu’u, sui o tama’ita’i.  The study covers a wide array of topics, including perspectives toward democracy, national identity, tradition, leadership, government, development, and foreign relations. In addition, the partnering professors, and authors, Professor Michael Leach at the Swinburne University of Technology, in Melbourne Australia and Associate Professor Dr. Julien Barbara presented the summary of the survey findings online.

The research was funded by the Australian government’s Pacific Research Program as well as the ANU Department of Pacific Affairs. As a result, the survey was carried out in 2020 and 2021, during the pandemic outbreak and in the run-up to the historic national election,” said Associate Professor Tuifuisa’a Patila Amosa,

According to the research, it shows that most Samoans are strong supporters of democracy. Hence, the economy was cited by 38% of respondents as the most pressing issue confronting Samoa, while health was cited by 37%. In five years times, 73 percent of respondents believed that the current government will address these challenges. “The Pacific Attitudes Survey also found that the women’s participation in politics is typically acceptable,” Professor Muagutuati’a Ioana Chan Mow noted.

Other than that, Professor Silafau Sina Vaai concluded that the NUS researchers anticipate that this will be the threshold of numerous surveys for the Pacific.