International students at NUS Medical School increasing

The National University of Samoa welcomed three more international students to the School of Medicine yesterday, marking an increase in the number of international students coming to Samoa.

The new arrivals bring the total number of international students studying medicine in NUS to six. They include an Australian, Solomon Islanders, Cook Islander and a Tuvaluan.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Fui Asofou So'o, said he was happy to note the increase in the number of international students studying at NUS School of Medicine.

"The School of Medicine is excited, the university is excited and our country is excited and all this is saying that our school of medicine is attracting students from the region, including Australia and we look forward to working with our students here," he said during a press conference.

According to Fui, this year, a total 11 local students were accepted into the programme's first year.

This is an increase of nearly 60 per cent in the schools students intake, compared to only nine and eight students in the first year of the programme in years, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

"The total cohort currently of the School of Medicine MBBS programme stands at 54, compromising of 48 local students and 6 international students. 

"I'm already foreseeing the possibility of us limiting the number of students coming in, because of the facilities that we have."

He revealed that the university is looking at renovating and expanding, but the ultimate dream is to have a brand new medical school.

One of the Solomon Islands students, Justania Haranisoma, said she obtained her Diploma in public health in 2014 and that she heard of NUS School of Medicine from a colleague and the internet.

"Coming from my country where health care is of high demand and a shortage of doctors, this has motivated me to choose medicine, come to Samoa and be trained as a medical doctor because I believe that once I finish my training here and graduate, I will be a a very resourceful person for my country to serve my people," she said.

The three 2019 foreign medical school intakes started classes last week and will be studying in Samoa for the next 6 years to complete their MBBS programme.

The other Solomon Island student, Walter Sageraru, said so far he is satisfied with the teaching services and highlighted that unlike his home country, NUS medical school has a lot of resources including a bigger hospital where students doctors can fully execute their work field experience, before graduating.

The Australian student, Anwar Ahmed, revealed he was interested in staying in Samoa after he completes his MBBS.





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