New V.C. eyes partnerships for university

The National University of Samoa’s new Vice Chancellor, Professor Alec Aiono Ekeroma, has marked partnerships with relevant Government entities to address human resource shortfalls as a top priority for his administration.

In his first year as the head of the NUS, Professor Ekeroma said working relationships with both local and international partners were important for the university going forward.

“For quality assured programmes, we will be seeking a close working relationship with Samoa Qualification Authority and international partners to have all these completed in stages,” he said in response to an email query from the Samoa Observer.

Professor Ekeroma said his priority is to look at the needs of both university staff and students and identify areas where support can be increased.

“Stock take and prioritize the needs of both students and staff, quality assured programmes, increase in support from stakeholders, funders, parents, alumni and community as well,” he said. “We need to inspire the quality of students, research and engaged staff and students, engage the Samoan diaspora in research collaborations, teaching and service.”

With the 2019 academic year disrupted by the measles epidemic towards the latter end of the 12 months, Professor Ekeroma said the N.U.S. is ready to face any challenges in this school year and is ready to harness the potential of their various partnerships. 

“We are linked to local and international agencies as part of our disaster monitoring, awareness and preparedness framework, we will contribute and be guided by the M.O.H., Disaster Planning Centre and Government,” he said.

The university currently has medical consumables/masks in storage which will be reviewed within the coming week with their respective management teams, audit and O.S.H. (Occupational Safety and Health) focal points on what other things they might need in the case of an emergency. 

The Vice Chancellor also revealed that graduation for students who undertook TVET courses in 2019 will graduate at the end of March this year.

“The TVET graduation will be in the last week of March and the usual graduation in the first week of April. We will inform students of the exact date within the week through our usual communication channels as we improve other avenues,” he said.

The TVET graduation is normally held on a separate date from the university’s main graduation in April of every year. 

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