Minister demands evidence for claims about N.U.S. qualifications

The Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio, wants “evidence” to prove claims that  degrees obtained from the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) are not recognised in Australia and New Zealand.

In Parliament, Loau said there are five nurses currently working in Auckland and their employment were secured with N.U.S. diplomas. 

He was responding to concerns raised by Member of Parliament for Lefaga and Falease’ela, Tole’afoa Ken Poutoa, that graduates with qualifications from the N.U.S., including their diplomas and bachelor degrees are not recognised in New Zealand and Australia.

“I can confirm that the qualifications are not recognised in New Zealand and Australia,” the Member of Parliament said.

“The students who are awarded the qualifications, whose families are then successful in the quota for New Zealand, end up having to retake diploma or another degree in New Zealand to seek employment.

“That’s because our local degrees are not recognized there."

Loau said the N.U.S. has been in operation for more than 30 years. 

“The degrees awarded by the University are highly recognized. And we have a lot of engineers and doctors and it begs the question where did they attend school; they are all N.U.S. graduates and proceeded to further education in overseas universities. 

“I want make this clear as this touches the core and integrity of the University.

“A lot of the laui’a (pointing to the C.E.O. and the A.C.E.O. in the audience) are all graduates of the N.U.S.,” said Loau. 

"I urged to bring forth the evidence if any, on the issues raised as this questions the qualifications of the degrees issued at the University,” said Loau. 

When Tole’afoa raised the matter, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said the issue is not the qualification.

He said many foreign countries recognise qualifications from the N.U.S. and added that the university has afforded hundreds of local students the opportunity to get formal qualifications.

“The problem is not the university, it is the individual alone,” the Prime Minister said.

“We have our own vocational schools and on top of that we also have a Technical college from Australia that is set up in Samoa teaching different trades.

“It does not matter what knowledge and skill they have. How can they measure such knowledge if they don’t have any experience? The only substance that is looked at is the individual alone.”

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