Other Programmes Enrolment Semester 2, 2019 - Day 2

Other Programmes Enrolment Semester 2, 2019 - Day 2
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The National University of Samoa (NUS) has made a donation to the Ele Opeloge Fund through the Samoa Observer.

This is to honour Samoa's weightlifting champion, Ms Ele Opeloge, whom after eight years of waiting, had finally been awarded with a silver medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Opeloge met the N.U.S Deputy Vice Chancellor in Academic and Research, Peseta Desmond Lee Hang, alongside her Coach Tuaupepe Jerry Wallwork where the funds were exchanged and thanks were given.

The NUS Deputy Vice Chancellor said that Opeloge was once an NUS student and has become a joy to the university and that’s why they have donated their assistance to appreciate the fact that she won the 2008 Olympic Silver Medal for Weight lighting.

Ele thanked NUS for the gift.

“If it wasn't for my country and all the people that support me, I wouldn't have made it to that position and have won that medal,” she said.

The Olympian placed 4th at the 2008 Olympics 75kg + Weightlifting category until it was discovered that the weightlifters at 2nd and 3rd place were using performance enhancing drugs. Opeloge is now being honored for placing second during the 2008 Olympics.

The Ele Opeloge Fund is operated by the Samoa Observer to honor her, as the Government policy does not award monetary rewards to any medals below a gold medal.

Caption. Ele Opeloge and coach Tuaaopepe Jerry Wallwork

Testimonies from two international students who have completed their medical elective programmes at the National University of Samoa's Faculty of Medicine.

 

No single higher education institution can embrace changes and turns out to be perfect in its systems and processes unless there are control mechanisms in place to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.

How does one university know that national and international excellence is achieved through its delivered programmes and courses?

Whose work is to maintain, monitor and manage the existing policies in these higher institutions?

Of course benchmarking can be perceived as a tool to spy on one’s performance by most educators where such process is first introduced.

However, that notion far outweighs the advantages of such a powerful tool to gain competitive insight and provides evidence based views of performance throughout product and organisation lifecycles.

So said Dr Sara Booth, a Strategic Advisor Quality at the University of Tasmania and an acknowledged expert on academic benchmarking who facilitated the National University of Samoa’s (NUS) first Academic Benchmarking Workshop held for three days recently.

“There were problems identified during the benchmarking process and peer review as you would come across academics who do not acknowledge issues that require changes in managerial level.”

“Follow up actions is also critical as some academics still haven’t completed their reviews.  What is also difficult about this process is finding partners to benchmark with and aligning with other higher education strategic initiatives,” Dr. Booth added.

But what really is benchmarking as this underpins the next steps for all universities and higher institutions in the Pacific region including Australia and NZ.

Australia’s Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (T.E.Q.S.A) defines it as a structured, collaborative, learning process for comparing practices, processes or performance outcomes. Its purpose is to identify comparative strengths and weaknesses, as a basis for developing improvements in academic quality. Benchmarking can also be defined as a quality process used to evaluate performance by comparing institutional practices to sector good practice.

In other words, identifying gaps in the system that requires improvements to achieve best practices in higher education standards by comparing one university’s standard against the other so that quality education is recognised internationally.

“I know a lot of institutions in the region think resourcing is an issue but to start small to acquire best teaching practices really is an achievement.  This exercise also enables educators to think innovative given the use of online resources to produce best results.”

For NUS it was a successful academic benchmarking workshop since the establishment of its Academic Quality Unit (A.Q.U) last year.

Successful in a lot of ways that not only nine regional institutions attended other than New Zealand and Australia, its management and staff have improved understanding of using benchmarking as a quality improvement tool as well as bringing the Samoa Qualifications Authority (S.Q.A) on board to be part of the discussions and to see where the university is heading in terms of quality assurance and enhancement.

Those nine institutions included NUS, The University of Fiji, The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P), The University of Papua New Guinea (U.P.N.G), Divine Word University (PNG), Fulton College (Fiji), AKO Aotearoa (NZ) and the University of Waikato (NZ) and University of Tasmania.

“The inclusion of participants from other universities brought an additional dimension to the discussion, raising the level of awareness among (NUS) staff of the role of internal and external quality assurance operations within a university,” A.Q.U Director Tea Tepora Wright said.

Funded under the Education Sector Plan Budget Support (E.S.S.P) for quality assurance, Tea felt that this has paved way for the many steps to be taken by the institutions that attended.

“Obviously the first is improved understanding by (NUS) staff of the process of using benchmarking as a quality improvement tool, applied for a process such as teacher professional development, course design and approval or discipline area.”

“There were several outcomes from the workshop. Many areas for quality improvement in NUS operations were identified by the staff themselves.  This is critical as it raises the level of ownership among staff for on-going quality improvement at the university.”

“The final outcome, which will be discussed further, is that of a possible benchmarking project with one or more of the universities which were represented at the workshop. Areas that seemed to be of particular interest were professional development for academic staff and programme and course design.”

An outcome also shared by the Director of the Academic Audit Division at U.P.N.G, Professor Steven Winduo. “What has been noted in our line of work is having too many processes that lack monitoring.  It is not one person’s job but involves management support.”

He told the workshop that there is a huge need to benchmark with other universities to identify weaknesses in university quality standards.  “Being here at this workshop will help (U.P.N.G) initiate quality control process and Action Plans for each university division is now underway.  To benchmark against what is taking place is a step to the right direction.”

But there is always help from advanced institutions whose academic quality units have taken off with a lot of actions in place such as that shared by the Deputy Director of AKO Aotearoa, Helen Lomax who co-facilitated the workshop.

As for NUS, the A.Q.U will be discussing further with the university management and overseas colleagues possible next steps in this area.            

This is in support of further recommendations highlighted in the 2015 Academic Audit Report conducted by the Academic Quality Agency based in N.Z.

Tuesday 13 December 2016, PR. Afioga Seumanutafa Dr Malcolm Hazelman donated to the National University of Samoa (NUS), a prize consisting of a handcrafted plaque and $300 cash. The prize was for the top all-rounder NUS Horticulture student. Dr Hazelman stated that the prize would be offered annually for 5 years.  The $300 cash prize, according to Dr Hazelman, is to help kick start the top student’s vegetable garden.  The Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic and Research, Peseta Dr Desmond Lee Hang accepted the prize on behalf of the University, and thanked Dr Hazelman for his generosity and support of the Horticulture programme. 

Caption: Seumanutafa Dr Malcolm Hazelman donates prize for Top All RoundHorticulture Student to NUS, receiving the prize is

DVC (AR) Peseta Dr Desmond Lee Hang

 

 

 

 

If you have a strong heart, you would care enough to make the difference and end violence in your families and in your communities.

This was the message from the United Nations Women Country Programme Coordinator Ms Suisala Mele Maualaivao in an interview with N.U.S. Media.

A message that was shared during the Fun Run with the international theme ‘Strong hands, stop violence against women and girls’ held at the Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.) Fale this morning.

“Today is the international Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls and it is celebrated globally around the world,” she said.

“It is the first day of 16 days of activism. It starts with the International Elimination of Violence Against Women and it finishes on November 10th with the international Day of Human Rights.”

So we decided to do a fun run to end violence against women.

Mrs. Mauala’ivao also explained the main aim behind the fun run.

“We really just wanted the public to come out and do a healthy activity, such as zumba, running and eat some healthy food,” she said.

“If you have a strong heart, you are caring enough to make a difference and end violence in your family and in your communities.”

“Strong hand comes from strong heart. It is not about physically but it is about being brave enough to say that this is wrong and you need different ways to engage with people you care about.”

This is the first time for such Fun Run event to be celebrated here in Samoa and Mrs. Mauala’ivao spoke of how the public participated.

“It is the first but I do not think it is going to be last. Everybody had a really good time and it really nice to see,” Mrs. Mauala’ivao said.

“It has been raining and we thought there might be fifty people but it looks like we had 150.

“Everybody needs to be involved because we have to end violence.”

 The finale of the event will be the international day for Human Rights.

“The human Right Institute of Samoa is going to launch their National Inquiry on Gender Based Violence,” she said.

“It is obvious that there are a lot of different ministries, organisations and government bodies know that this is the real issue in Samoa, and we are all trying to do our part in one way or another.”

The Fun Run is not the only programme for the first day of the international E.V.A.W.

There is going to be the Ten’s Tournament at the Apia Park later today which is the E.V.A.W. Tournament hosted by the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.).

Other initiatives also include a Y.W.C.A. Rise Up Forum at the Ministry of Health conference room and also the Samoa Family Health has a session too and these are open to the public.

The U.N. Women has partnered with Digicel Samoa, Ministry of Women’s Community and Social Development (W.C.S.D.), Samoa Australian Police Partnership (S.A.P.P.) and U.N. Agencies in commemorating and promoting programmes to Eliminate Violence Against Women.

Caption: Media Class – Media and Journalism students who took part in this morning’s Fun Run.

Caption: Mele Maualaivao – UN Women Country Programme Coordinator sharing the message of ending violence against

women during the Fun Run this morning.

*Katalina Tovia is a final year media and journalism student at NUS.

 

 

 
 

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