The National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) now offers Bachelor of Arts - major in Media.
The official launch of the new undergraduate qualification at the Center for Cultural Studies yesterday, the Media and Communications Department also unveiled SamoaBeat.com, which will be the university’s official Media School news website.
The Vice Chancellor and President of the National University of Samoa, Prof. Fui Asofou So’o congratulated the Department of Media and Communication for the launch of two events.
He said the degree was added to meet the need for future media personnel who were better prepared and equipped in meeting the demands of the communications sector.
“For many years we have been receiving constant feedback and constructive criticisms for our Media and Journalism programme to look into providing a more advanced qualification other than the existing diploma we currently have,” he said.
“In light of recent calls for more professional journalism and media standards and training available locally, I am pleased to announce the Bachelor’s Degree in Media and Journalism has been approved and ready to roll out starting this semester."
“This programme will also provide further education to the Media Council’s objectives to uphold the professionalism and ethical aspects of media."
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Head of Media and Communications Department, Misa Vicky Lepou, acknowledged the funding partners.
“It defeats the purpose of this programme if we don’t have the resources, and that was one of the critical issues that were put across to us,” she said.
“But all thanks and praise to God we received help through the U.S. Embassy, Australia High Commission and U.N.E.S.C.O. These are our usual partners and donors who do support the programme."
“We hope that once we have this up and start next week, this semester and we hope to have a lot of students to take journalism as a pathway to the future.”
Misa answered questions about the financial incentives that were attractive enough for students to pursue a degree qualification in the media and journalism industry and what kind of career pathways can a student expect with a higher qualification.
“I think that would be a question to put to the media, what is there for them? It’s a very important question; this has been an ongoing discussion at the moment, because in order for us to entice new students to choose journalism and media, there must be pathways to careers,” she said.
“The industry is growing, it has grown in the past 10 years and we see a lot of media related offices. And it’s not just about mainstream media, but also N.G.O's and regional offices, so the career pathways are there for them."
“If you don’t want to be a journalist, you can be a media practitioner in other areas such as media consultancy. It’s the only job where you get to see the Prime Minister and other high profile people. You get to meet new people every day and of course there has been a lot of support from the media industry.”
The university news service website SamoaBeat.com promises to be the main channel for all the daily news and other activities compiled by the students and staff of the Media and Communication Department. Its primary objective is to publicize news within and outside of Samoa.