NUS Open day 2019

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Faamatuainu Faamasani Asi has been appointed as the new Director of Finance.  He was the former Assistant Director within the Financial Services Division since 2015 and as a Senior Finance Accountant from 2012-2015.  Faamatuainu is no stranger to N.U.S as he had been working previously with the Samoa In Country Training as a Project Accountant from 2009-2012.  A former Senior Accountant and Auditor with Betham and Co from 2005-2009, Faamatuainu also graduated from N.U.S with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2008. 

 

“I am ready to step up for this role given the knowledge and experience I have gained in the past years working alongside my predecessor,” Faamatuainu said.  “I am very humbled to have been appointed to this challenging role in which I will do my best to serve the best interests of the university and its stakeholders.”

 

2001 – Diploma in Business (Samoa Polytechnic)

2003 – Certificate in Commerce (N.U.S)

2007 – Diploma in Accounting (N.U.S)

2008 – Bachelor of Commerce (N.U.S)

New Director of Finance, Faamatuainu Faamasani Asi.

Photo by: Tuifao Tumua (N.U.S. Multimedia)

The National University of Samoa (N.U.S) has handed over its assistance to Fijian staff members who have families back in Fiji who were affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

The university was able to collect a monetary donation of SAT$4,324.30 bags and boxes of clothing, Samoan lavalavas and T-shirts.

The assistance was contributed to by N.U.S staff and students on a voluntary basis.  Following deliberations by the Vice Chancellor’s Committee on how to best channel such assistance, it came to a decision to best assist those N.U.S staff whose families are most affected in Fiji.

The Vice Chancellor and President of N.U.S. Prof. Fui Asofou So’o handed over the assistance in a brief ceremony held today.

“We’ve decided to do something to help our brothers and sisters in Fiji, the university eventually came to the decision that we will collect some money voluntarily and some clothes to help with those affected with Cyclone Winston.”

“We wanted to make sure how we channel this assistance to Fiji and we could have done in two ways, either we bring it directly to Fiji through one of our voluntary organisations for gifts to go to Fiji or we give it directly to our staff who have families affected by the cyclone back in Fiji.”

“These are natural disasters and anyone anytime can be affected and this time it is our brothers and sisters in Fiji so we decided to help,” Prof. Fui added.

The six (6) staff members included Seumanu Gauna Wong who hails from the Lomaiviti Group, Ateca Silatolu from Rakiraki, Susau Solomona from Rotuma, Prof Silafau Sina Vaai from Savusavu, Chris Gounder of Nausori and Lineta Tamanikaiyaroi who is married to a Fijian from the Lau Group.

 The donations will be equally divided amongst the six staff who will handle the transfer of this assistance to their loved ones in Fiji.

It was a gesture well received and acknowledged by one of Fijian staff representatives, Mrs Tamanikayaroi.

“We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for thinking of us during Cyclone Winston’s devastation.  The donation that you have given today it is a remarkable amount in terms of the thoughts behind that you had done it for us and the people of Fiji.”

“I ensure you that these will be taken right to the people who need them the most and convey your message of love and care.  To remind us all that one day is our turn and the next day is yours and we will remember you,” Mrs Tamanikayaroi said.

Reaching out to those families affected by Cylcone Winston's devastation - N.U.S. donations handover ceremony held today.

Photo taken by: Tuifao Tumua (N.U.S. Multimedia Unit)

Gone are the days when students had to find the lecturers and a classroom, the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) is out there now to find students.

That is the notion behind the university’s vision to continue bringing its courses and programmes for those in Savaii.

The Vice Chancellor and President of N.U.S. Prof. Fui Asofou So’o this week officially opened the second course through the Oloamanu Centre for Professional Development and Continuing Education (O.C.P.D.C.E) called the Certificate in Adult Teaching (C.A.T) for the teachers in Savaii.

“Having the university courses and programmes offered to our people in Savaii is one of the long term visions of our forefathers who saw the need to establish Samoa’s university,” Prof. Fui told the C.A.T class.  “Instead of the traditional classroom learning where students would find the lecturers and a classroom, N.U.S is expanding its services by bringing those needs to our people in Savaii.”

“It is an opportunity to also assist you with your current jobs and to ensure that you find time to meet deadlines for your respective assessments.”

“This is the step to the right direction and there is still a long way to go for other relevant courses and programmes to be offered in a similar mode of teaching,” Prof. Fui added.

The C.A.T is now being offered through the Open Distance Learning (ODL) per semester.

 

O.D.L is usually thought of as a medium of teaching and learning using modern technology so that teachers or students do not have to be together in the classroom.

With the growth of distance learning programs, the online format has led to a growing interest in learning among adult learners and in continuing the pursuit of their educational goals.However, the C.A.T materials including a Course Book and Assessment Summary have been provided for the teachers to ease their learning journey.

Due to the late start in offering this course from the beginning of this academic year, two university staff members are now running a two week intensive C.A.T training with 44 teachers from Don Bosco Technical Centre in Salelologa and Vaiola College.

 

Fr. Mosese Tui who conducted the opening prayer acknowledged the initiative by the N.U.S for hearing Don Bosco’s plea of many years.

“It is a dream come true for me and my staff as we had long requested for this type of training for our staff to enhance their knowledge and skills as teachers,” Fr. Mosese said.

Given time and commitment given to the university’s limited resources, Prof. Fui believes that this is a step to the right direction and can only get better. “The challenge for the university at the same time is to revise courses so that we are able to offer it via the O.D.L mode.”

 

The C.A.T aims to develop an understanding of principles of adult teaching and learning and begin to apply these to your own teaching or training situation.  It is relevant for those wishing to gain qualifications in tertiary teaching adult training.  It is also for those wishing to update or revitalise facilitation and teaching skills.  It was designed particularly for Educators in Post School Education and Training, Community educators and trainers as well as staff developers or trainers.

For more information about C.A.T courses, visit our website www.nus.edu.ws, Facebook - www.facebook.com/TheNationalUniversityofSamoaor twitter@NUSSamoa 

 

Having total access to quality and quantity information online through a faster and high capacity connectivity continues to be a challenge for higher academic institutions in the Pacific region especially Samoa.

Not often that when you talk about Information and Communication Technology (I.C.T), should there be free access to the internet.  The conversation seems to be flowing towards meeting economic realities rather than achieving educational goals.

With a student population of close to 3,500 and over 300 staff, the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) I.C.T remains a critical development that requires a large capital investment.

That could be highly likely a thing of the past if the Submarine Cable Project Committee endorses a proposal from the Office of the Regulator (O.O.T.R) for N.U.S and The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P) to get high capacity and faster internet system - free of charge.

The revelation was made this week by the Regulator, Mrs Unutoa Auelua-Fonoti, during her keynote address at the first ever international I.C.T Symposium, jointly hosted by N.U.S and Japan’s Ibaraki University.

“The Regulator as a member of the Submarine Cable Project Committee has already put forward a request to the Minister and the Committee to have a capacity of the cable, made available free of charge to N.U.S and U.S.P for research and other educational purposes,” Mrs Fonoti said.

“And I can tell you now that they gave me a very positive response.”

“This symposium comes at the right moment to give a push to the actions, already being taken by the government,” added Mrs Fonoti.  “The government has already implemented theSamoan National Broadband Highway (SNBH).”

“It is the government’s communications network, linking offices throughout Apia as well as other locations as far as Savaii.”

“In the future, this infrastructure will be extended to the private sector and will be used to provide internet services throughout the country.”

It was a gesture well received by the Vice Chancellor and President of N.U.S, Prof. Fui Asofou So’o.

“I want to speak on behalf of N.U.S and U.S.P to thank you for the very honourable gesture of recommending to our government that there’d be free internet provided for us,” said Prof. Fui.  “You have given (N.U.S. and U.S.P) a lot of room to do a lot of things that we are not able to do at the moment.”

It’s a call by the Regulator that should be commended as the government is pooling all resources to ensure that I.C.T is prioritised across every sector in line with its Strategy Development for Samoa 2012-2016.

And of course a number of I.C.T initiatives have been implemented to bridge the digital divide including the much awaited Submarine Cable via Fiji to be completed by the end of 2016.

The submarine cable known as Tui-Samoa will be owned by the Government of Samoa in collaboration with its local stakeholders while the O.O.T.R will be facilitating and promoting the best interests of consumers and participants in the I.C.T, postal and electricity sectors through the best combination of competition and effective regulation.

And much to the delight of higher academic institutions like The National University of Samoa (N.U.S) and The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P), the submarine fibre optic cable means high capacity and faster internet system that could well be enjoyed by staff and students for research purposes – free of charge.

“(The Regulator) has an obligation to make sure that everyone has internet access especially education and health,” added Mrs Fonoti.  “Not just a capacity but more capacity.”

But there’s more development attested by Mrs Fonoti in her first public speech since her appointment as the Regulator.

“The Office of the Regulator (O.O.T.R), Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (M.C.I.T) and its stakeholders have just implemented the first Internet Exchange Point (I.X.P) for Samoa for the first time.”

“All major providers will be connected and we hope that when this is fully operational, we will have more local content in our local websites.”

According to Mrs Fonoti, the I.X.P means local users will receive information faster rather than connecting Samoa to international gateways before receiving it.

In that instance, if an email is sent from town to N.U.S. it will travel to an international gateway such as the United States before it is received in one’s inbox.

Of course this was identified by the O.O.T.R as a bottleneck for its high cost of international loop.

“Furthermore, Cabinet has also approved the proposal by the O.O.T.R and M.C.I.T to have the analogue television switched off in 2017 and introduce the digital television in the same year.”

“We did consultations on this issue and there was positive feedback from the public. This is exciting news for all of us and I’m sure it will be more exciting news for our families in the rural areas.”

“Again O.O.T.R and its partners have already lay down its plans for this major project.”

With a new research to be carried out in 2016 by Mose Mose, a Computing Lecturer at N.U.S. titled Mobile Learning (M-Learning) at N.U.S, it will look at finding an appropriate model for implementing M-Learning in facilitating computing courses.

Not necessarily the latest mobile technology but how to use low-resourced mobiles as a tool of learning.

For the first time also, Mrs Fonoti has revealed that approval had been given to major providers to provide the latest mobile technology.

“That is a 4G L.T.E technology, the very latest technology to be used in Samoa for the first time so this is more exciting news.”

Indeed Samoa is now well underway with a keen commitment to making the integration of I.C.T in education a successful process through the support of the government, stakeholders and education institutions.

 

For more information about I.C.T, visit us on www.nus.edu.ws or www.facebook.com/TheNationalUniversityofSamoaor twitter@NUSSamoa.  For more information about the latest government I.C.T development, visit the Office of the Regulator’s website on https://www.regulator.gov.ws

 

Welcome and Talofa to NUS. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this very first International Symposium on ICT in development jointly hosted by the National University of Samoa and Ibaraki University, Japan. A special welcome to all our overseas participants. We are delighted to welcome you to our country and to our university.

I am told that the aim of this symposium is to bring together academics and practitioners to share their valuable knowledge and experience in the use or applications of ICT for sustainable development. The symposium is multidisciplinary in nature with presentations in the areas of ICT in education, ICT in climate change, ICT in governance, ICT in environment and disasters, Green ICT technologies and ICT in development. I am sure you will all agree with me on the ever increasing importance and pervasiveness of ICT in our lives. This symposium examines the application of ICT across multiple disciplines and with a particular focus of ICT in the context of developing countries like Samoa. I am sure that in your deliberations the transformational nature of ICT along with the many issues and challenges that ICT brings will be discussed with some detail. The value of these exchanges are not only thought stimulating but also provides valuable lessons in the leveraging of ICT for combatting poverty and disease, monitoring disasters and climate change and innovative ways for the delivery of services in education, government and health to name a few.

The National University of Samoa sees research as a key priority area in its development and growth and events like this which promote research in such an increasingly important area as ICT is crucial and pivotal as a means of fostering our research culture. Furthermore it provides vital exposure and capacity building for NUS staff and students alike in the area of ICT in development.

A special welcome to the USP contingency headed by Dr Bibhya Sharma. Your support in attending this symposium is testament to the ever closer links between USP and NUS.

I would like to acknowledge the presence of the Regulator for ICT and Power for Samoa – le Afioga Auelua Unutoa. I am told you will be presenting our first keynote this morning. Thank you for accepting our invitation and we hope to work closely with you in promoting the national ICT agenda for Samoa.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our partners Ibaraki university of Japan for their invaluable contribution in co-hosting this symposium. Such collaborations with international partners such as Ibaraki are seen by NUS as an important way forward in promoting our research culture. Special thanks to Emeritus Professor Ozawa and his team. NUS has enjoyed a special relationship with Ibaraki university not only through professional development of two of our staff to PHD level but also through assistance over the years in the area of e-learning. I believe a joint workshop was held at NUS back in 2009. So again thank you Professor Ozawa for all your support and friendship over the years.

It is then my greatest pleasure to declare this symposium officially open. I wish you all the best in your two days of deliberations and exchanges and I hope you all enjoy the field trip on the third day which we have organised for you so that you can get to see some of our island before you head back home.

Wishing you all a fruitful and productive symposium.

Faafetai lava. Manuia ma ia soifua.

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