Expanding its scope through various study disciplines has attracted international students to the National University of Samoa (NUS).
NUS has become increasingly one of the most notable and visible universities in the region where it has invested into international partnerships.
Aspired to increase its visibility of international students, employees, visitors and families to enrich the broader campus community, NUS now has an International Office.
With the new office comes the appointment of another first for the university, an International Coordinator, Iliganoa Matu’u, whose roles reflect in two major aspects.
Matu’u will administer all matters concerning international students and coordinate exchange programmes for staff and students.
As well as handling a number of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NUS and its partners such as regional and international universities and organisations.
“The most important part of the job is making sure that the information is available and that both sides are able to benefit from these partnerships,” said Matu’u. “It’s a challenging role and I feel excited about it.”
“NUS would like to provide top of the notch international services especially we have been hosting and sending students and staff under the many links we have created.”
Matu’u’s appointment was announced by the Vice Chancellor and President Professor Fui Le’apai Tu’ua ‘Ilaoa Asofou So’o during a press meet with the NUS Media.
“We have grown and we have now arrived at the point in our development where we are receiving students outside of Samoa,” said Prof. Fui. “The (international) aspect has grown very fast in the last five years. We have more students expected to travel over next year.”
“Now we have a full time Coordinator for the first time to handle that aspect of the growth of the university.”
“At the moment we have students from Easter Timor and West Indies under one of the numerous scholarship schemes being offered such as the CARPIMS.”
The CARPIMS project is designed to facilitate the movement of Masters and PhD students and staff between selected national universities in the Caribbean and Pacific regions as a means of building capacity and encouraging socioeconomic development in each region.
Having the new International Office set up, Matu’u has been arranging international scholarship awards not just for incoming students and staff from other universities but outgoing NUS staff and students.
The latest recipients of such scholarship awards who are leaving for Belgium next week are Pauline Nafo’i-Lee Hang (Tourism Lecturer) and Victory Falevalu Utumapu-Milford (Computing Lecturer).
Both will pursue their Master’s Degrees in Education Science for two years at the Virje Universiteit Brussel (VUB) under the CARIBU Scholarship scheme.
CARIBU is an Erasmus Mundus Action 2 (EMA2) partnership program that aims at increasing academic mobility, research and capacity building opportunities between 8 EU universities (Belgium (2), Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Poland, Portugal, Romania) and countries from the ACP region (Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Gambia, Ghana, the Bahamas, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Samoa).
The program aims to benefit students, researchers and staff members who will bring an immediate impact in their home institutions through the exchange of best practices, mutual sharing of knowledge, teaching and management skills as well as a very enriching linguistic, cultural and educational experience.
“I am grateful of this opportunity through (NUS) to do something better not for myself but for my family in the end,” said Utumapu-Milford. “I put my whole heart to it when I submitted that application.”
“I took the words of the Vice Chancellor not to look at any other obstacles but the end product,” added Utumapu-Milford. “Opportunities at (NUS) are numerous and I grabbed it.”
Nafo’i-Lee Hang echoed similar sentiments. “I am so humbled to have taken up this rare opportunity despite I’ll be leaving my family behind,” she said. “But in the end, it will be an excellent experience that I cannot think twice about.”
Looking forward to the new study environment and what Beligum will bring for the duo, another recipient who was in the Caribbean for a one year study had no regrets.
Ferila Saufoi Amituanai, a Faculty of Education lecturer has completed her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of West Indies in Barbados.
“It was a wonderful cross-cultural experience for me. I have learned to apply new technology as a platform in teaching and learning approaches,” said Amituanai. “An experience that I have also learned about sharing views and ideas with students, paraphrasing contexts on online materials as well as the texts rather than the old classroom setting of where the teacher is deemed to be the highest,” added Amituanai.
These scholarship schemes are also open to the public pending terms and conditions.
For more information about NUS international services, visit us on www.nus.edu.wsor visit us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/TheNationalUniversityofSamoa.