The quality of teaching at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) has received a tremendous boost with the return of eight staff members who have graduated with higher qualifications.
The staff members include:
• Kuinileti Fa’amatuainu- Masters of Education, University of West Indies
• Sekotilani Aloi – Masters of Science in Chemistry with Distinction from the University of Otago
• Lenara Tuipoloa-Utuva – Masters in Tourism with Distinction from the University of Otago
• Vaisualua Okesene- Masters of Computer Technology from the University of South Queensland
• Tuileva Tuileva – Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of West Indies
• Jyothi Abraham – Masters in Applying Practice in Health Science from the Institute of Technology in Auckland
• Seve Folototo Seve- Doctor of Philosophy in Accounting from the Australian National University
• Orana Senara- Masters of Social Science in Geography from the University of Otago
During a press conference yesterday, Vice Chancellor, Professor Fui Asofou So’o said the ultimate goal of the programme through which the lecturers benefitted from is to improve the standard of teaching at the University.
“This is a very important programme which aims at enhancing and expanding the knowledge of our staff so they can improve and lift up the standard of education here at N.U.S,” he said.
“At the National University of Samoa, a part of the quality of qualification awarded to our student is the quality of our staff.”
Professor Fui said the programme is fitting, given one of the policies at the University.
“We have a policy for our staff where they will at least have a Masters Qualification to teach, especially our degree programmes.
“So every year, we send away our staff to improve their qualifications. This year, we have these staff members who have now returned with their qualifications.
“The eight staff here has all returned with their Masters Qualifications, except one who is graduating in the end of the year with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree.”
How are lecturers chosen?
“One part of the criteria includes looking at those who have been here longest,” said Professor Fui.
“So if there are four people in the faculty, then the first person that will come here without a Masters Degree will most likely to go.
“Sometimes, it depends on whether or not our staff are admitted to the programmes that they want to study.
“Sometimes, it’s their turn, they are admitted, but there is no funding. Those are some of the things that come into place when we select who should or not.
“But they go through a normal process. They apply into the University and into the programme that you want to study in, and the lecturers at the University think that you’ve got the grade to admit you into their programme then they will admit you. If not, you try into another University or another Institution.”
The Vice Chancellor said the programme is costly but it is all worth it.
“The main challenge for us is in terms of finance. The university is paying someone who is not here, and also have to look for someone to fill in for the teachers who are away for studies.”
He commended and congratulated the returning staff members.
“There are a lot of sacrifices that had to be made For example, it’s not easy leaving their families and kids behind to obtain a higher qualification for one year.”