U.S.P. shaping the future with Savai’i Career Expo

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EXPO IN SAVAI’I: U.S.P is taking education to the population of Savai’i.

EXPO IN SAVAI’I: U.S.P is taking education to the population of Savai’i.

The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P) in Samoa held a Careers Expo at the U.S.P Savai’i Centre last Friday. 

U.S.P Savai’i Centre provides access to University studies and students need not leave their Savaii homes and families to travel to Upolu.

The U.S.P Savai.i Centre was officially opened in September 2003 by the then C.E.O of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C), the late Tautāpilimai Levao Tupae Esera having been agreed to by then Minister of M.E.S.C Fiame Naomi Mataafa and the university. 

Starting off modestly, the Centre offered student support for its distance learners, so they did not have to travel to Upolu. ICT services through three computers were connected to Internet via SamoaTel – this offered communications beyond the Centre confines. As well, a small collection of library resources for the courses was made available. 

In 2012, through generous funding from JICA, the Centre received satellite services with the installation of the KU Band satellite facilities. Launched by Hon Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, this facility provided direct support and synchronous communications for students to connect with their lecturers and tutors in Fiji, Vanuatu and Alafua Campus. Significantly, the satellite provided continuous online access day and night as well as weekends.

Thus students have satellite (live) tutorials on Saturdays as well as during the week. Students also have available study space in the evenings and weekends supported by a part time coordinator. 

Since the satellite installation, support for the Centre has continued through other additions and improvements, notably, a library collection in an increased space, and resources arranged on shelving gained from a generous donor in New Zealand.

In 2013, a full time Library Assistant commenced services and in the same year, a part time IT student intern was also employed to support the satellite and other IT facilities and assist students. All this to ensure support for USP Savaii such that they receive the same support level as that found at Alafua has continued.  

This year, in April, further support has come in the addition of the full time Student Learning Services Specialist based at Alafua Campus with scheduled visits already started for Savaii students in the recent Semester 1 examinations. And, through the kind permission of MESC, USP Savaii students will start using increased space at the former Teachers Resource Centre.

To cap off Savaii Centre support, this semester, USP Samoa students will be accessing the latest ICT development - LECTURE CAPTURE TECHNOLOGY through which students enrolled in some courses will be able to access live lectures through the Course Management MOODLE platform. 

Commencing in 2014, UP Savai’i Centre has made its Careers Expo and annual event. This year, Chief Guest was Rev Tonu Mauafu of Iva E.F.K.S parish. Rev Tonu has a strong youth group and actively encourages youths to undertake further studies to build capacity use the opportunity offered by U.S.P for further studies.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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