Dux for N.U.S. Foundation Year tied
The National University of Samoa's (N.U.S) award for its top performing student at the Foundation level has ended in a tie.
The 2019 honour will be shared between Asiasiga Tualatamalelagi Naseri, from Safa’atoa, Fagali'i, Siutu and Nofoali'i and Claudia Muagututia from Salelologa, Savai'i.
Mr. Naseri and Ms. Muagututia were the joint recipients of the Hon. Misa Telefoni Retzlaff’s Trophy and $250 Cash Prize, Bible and Tautai Novel for their achievements.
Ms. Muagututia is from Salelologa, Savai'i. She is the daughter of Talalelei and Lopaauro Muagututia.
She came first in Economics, Accounting, Management and Top Commerce student.
The 19-year-old was the recipient of the Samoa Stationery and Books (S.S.A.B.) Trophy for Top Foundation Accounting Student, Central Bank of Samoa’s Trophy for Top Foundation Economics Student, BDO Samoa’s (Binder Dijker Otto) Trophy for Top Foundation Commerce Student, World Bank Group Trophy for Top Foundation Management Student.
“Coming this far, I feel grateful," she said. "I am very happy with what I have achieved but I feel so much gratitude to the Lord."
She added that throughout all the years of her studies, God has been her main provider and source of knowledge.
“I am just very happy that I am able to achieve one of the dreams that my father has been longing for knowing that he was not able to complete high school," she said.
“My father dropped out of school, so all of this I am doing like graduating from Foundation is for him. I want him to feel that he was able to accomplish these things as well.
“I also want to be a good example for my siblings and I want them to know that they can go beyond their limits if they truly rely on God.”
The Top Commerce student said that time management was a challenge.
“Sometimes when I get stressed, I feel like giving up. But then I didn't want everything to go to waste. It was also not easy being away from my family because I stayed with my aunt in Vaitele instead of Salelologa.
“My role model is my father because he is the bread winner of our family and I’m grateful to my mother, families, nana who has been a great support.”
Ms. Muagututia is heading to Australia for tertiary studies.
“I am going to be taking a Bachelor of Business International in Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane," she said.
"I am still trying to decide if I want to become an Economist or anything related to economics.”
She believes that if Samoa can develop the small businesses it would assist with our country’s economic growth.
“Education is significant because it can contribute in alleviating poverty in our country.”
Her co-top student, Mr. Naseri is the son of Temukisa Tuala and Tautiaga Naseri, from Safa’atoa, Fagali'i, Siutu and Nofoali'i.
The 18-year-old came first in Chemistry, Human Biology, Physics, and Top Science student.
He was given the Samoa Stationery and Books $200 Voucher, Trophy and Patrick Buckley $200 Cash for top Foundation Chemistry Student, Latu Lawyers Trophy & $200 Voucher for Top Foundation in Human Biology Student, Business Systems Ltd’s Trophy & $200 Voucher for Top Foundation Physics Student, Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (S.R.O.S.) Trophy and Plaque for top overall Foundation Science Student.
“I feel very privileged and honoured to be awarded these prestigious prizes,” he said.
He said that his parents are his role models because he saw their struggles and sacrifices to make him a better person.
“I acknowledge our Heavenly Father for always being there when I needed help and not forgetting the support from my parents, families, friends to help me throughout my journey.
“I will be departing to study my Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor in Surgery in the University of Otago because my aim is to be a doctor in the future.
“I want to help the health force in Samoa as we face the epidemic, it would be an honour to study medicine and come back and help our country.”
The Top Science student added that he was intrigued by how science works despite it being challenging.
“It is these challenges that drive me to be better. People say that fortune favours the brave but I would say that blessings favour the hard working and the faithful.
“When we have diligence and work with fidelity we will unquestionably succeed in whatever we do.
“I believe that students need to strive hard in education because education is the most powerful tool of change to make a difference in this world.”
A total of 449 foundations students were able to graduate and receive their certificates.
There were a 130 Arts Foundation students, 50 Commerce students, 13 Foundation Certificate Education, 117 Certificate General, 61 Foundation Nursing, and 78 Science students.
The top Arts Foundation student was Agaleleiangellina Taualagi Ulimasao, Luana Anani is the top Foundation Certificate Education, Foundation Certificate General’s top Student is Paulo Paramore, and Sam Junior Christian Mausali is top Foundation Certificate Nursing student.