University talks up Development Studies

By Aruna Lolani ,

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PROMOTING DEVELOPMENT STUDIES: Helen Leslie, a senior lecturer from Massey University at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows.

PROMOTING DEVELOPMENT STUDIES: Helen Leslie, a senior lecturer from Massey University at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Samoan students are being encouraged to consider taking up Development Studies at Massey University.

This is the message from Helen Leslie; a senior lecturer from Massey University in New Zealand, who is in Samoa to promote the opportunities offered by the University. Ms. Leslie spoke during a special presentation at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows earlier this week.

 “I think the Pacific students have been steadily dropping in numbers and we’re not quite sure why but that’s why I’m here so that people would know about us,” she said. 

“People might not know about us anymore so they might not necessarily know what Development Studies mean because it means different things to different people.” 

Development Studies seeks to understand key development issues to address some of the problems posed by the development. It is a multidisciplinary branch of Social Science, understanding and analysis of processes which are transforming people’s lives throughout the world. 

Ms. Leslie said the course is extremely used to Samoa.

“I think it’s a very relevant course for people in Samoa; particularly for people working in governments, or working for non-government organizations and journalists,” she said. 

“Because Development Studies is all about trying to figure out strategies to develop a country and promoting development.

“It’s about understanding and looking at different ideas and theories about why there’s poverty in the world, looking at it from all different perspectives. 

“And it’s about taking a good look at what the issues are and trying to explain and come up with ideas for such inequalities in the world.” 

According to Massey University’s brochure, the main focus of the Institute of Development Studies at Massey University is at postgraduate level. 

They have a strong research culture.

Development Studies also draws on Massey’s expertise in agriculture, economics, social anthropology, politics, natural resources, geography, environmental studies and business studies. 

 “Anyone who’s interested in doing their Masters in Development Studies should look at the scholarships that are available for studying, particularly the New Zealand Pacific scholarship which they’re closing soon, maybe end of March. 

“Just look up Samoa’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website, they’ve been very helpful.”

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