News & Events

The Conference for Science & Technology for Sustainable Development hosted by the National University of Samoa (NUS) in partnership with the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program (SPREP) was held this week at NUS. The Conference began on 22 November for 3 days.

This auspicious conference aims to promote research in Science and Technology, and provide a platform to bring together scientists, researchers and experts in the Pacific to share and profile their research regarding sustainable development in their respective fields.

According to the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Dr Patila Amosa, the conference is not just about building networks with overseas and external participants, it is also about sharing of research findings and exchanging of ideas. Dr Amosa also added that within this forum, there would be postgraduate students from the NUS who would be presenting on their research. Dr Amosa said “I believe this is an important avenue for NUS students to learn from, particularly those planning to pursue further studies, as well as giving them confidence to present to a wider academic audience.”

Caption: Conference participants group photo during the opening day. (photo credit: NUS Media and Journalism)

The information shared within this forum, is not only for academic purpose, but also useful for the Samoan community at large for their awareness and understanding. “We have research presentations on projects carried out in Samoa such as the study along Vaiusu Bay which assessed impacts of human activities on the coastal resources. This information may help communities control the activities along those areas particularly to reduce pollution,” she said.

This was further echoed by Mr Roger Cornforth, Acting Director General for SPREP who said, “this Conference provides an important opportunity for people not just scientists and students to be able to understand some of the knowledge which drives our decision making around the things that are really important for us and for the future”. Mr Cornforth went on to say that the Conference touches upon a lot of environmental issues which are aligned with SPREP’s core focus, particularly in ensuring sustainable development and providing awareness.

The Conference will end on Friday November 24th 2017.
  

 
 
 
 

Women are dominating research and educational roles within the National University of Samoa (NUS) with the announcement of a new Professor and three Associate Professors recently. The appointments included a new Professor of Computing and Computing Education, Professor Muagututi’a Ioana Tu’ugalei Vaai-Chan Mow.

Professor Muagututi’a was an Associate Professor at NUS for five years prior to her new professorial appointment at the Faculty of Science (FOS). She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Otago and a Masters of Education and PhD from South Australia University.

In addition to Prof. Muagutut’ia, three more women were appointed as Associate Professors by the University. Dr Taema Imo-Seuoti has been re-appointed for another 5 years as an Associate Professor for Environmental Science. She holds a Bachelor of Science from NUS and a Master of Science and PhD from Ryukyus University in Japan.

Tuiloma Dr Susana Taua’a is the second Associate Professor appointee. She holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from Flinders University in Australia, and is one of the first locally graduated PhD holders from NUS. She has been appointed as Associate Professor of Geography.

The third Associate Professor is Dr Safua Akeli Amaama of the Centre for Samoan Studies, who is now appointed as Associate Professor in History. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Otago University, and Honours in History from Victoria University of Wellington, with a Masters in History from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Vice Chancellor and President, Prof. Fui Asofou So’o said “the appointment of new professors speaks volumes to the development of NUS”.
“When we first started, we weren’t able to appoint any professors because we did not have any  PhD holders and so we lacked the level of wisdom and qualifications to have any professorial posts,” he said. “Today, reminds us of how far NUS has come. We are now able to appoint people to become professors locally and it’s something I am very proud of,” he said.


Caption: NUS Vice-Chancellor with the newly appointed professor and associate professors

At the moment, NUS has a total of 23 PhD holders currently employed by the university. “The level of researchers we have now is a sign that we are growing as a university. Globally, NUS gets to sit at the round table of universities known in the world because we are able to provide the qualified people to sit in there,” he said.

The selection of professorial appointments is based on three categories;
1. Their ability to teach.
2. Their community engagement.
3. Their research and publications.

Despite the big steps NUS is taking, Professor So’o says the university still has a long way to go. He says the goal is to have a professor for each faculty. “For Professors are particular for their own discipline. However this is the start and a small step to have a professor per faculty,” he said. “However, we can’t have a professor if they haven’t finished their PhD and needed qualifications,” he added.

The VC also applauded the rising success of women at NUS. “The women are leading the research work in the university. If they have done the publication and the research, they are more than capable of being professors,” he said

 

*Joshua Lafoai is a Multimedia Lecturer at NUS.

 

 

The University relies greatly on the generosity and kindness of valued partners and community to contribute to its ongoing development. On the 22nd September 2017, NUS was once again afforded such generosities as the NUS Learning Resource Centre (Library) was gifted with a donation of 30 refurbished desktop computers by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). 

 

This kind donation was an initiative supported by Alemania Febs Ierome, International Student Mobility Officer, QUT following a visit in late 2016 to NUS. Understanding the demand for computers in supporting student learning at NUS, Alemania answered the call for support from NUS University Librarian Avalogo Nanai Togi Tunupopo for assistance with computer resources. The two soon liaised and coordinated the provision and shipping of these computers to Samoa.

 

QUT is a major Australian university located in Brisbane, which offers high quality learning, teaching and research spaces fitted with state of the art information technology to meet the needs of students, academics and researchers.

 

According to QUT Logistics Coordinator Ms Mel Van Nek, "QUT is delighted to donate these computers to support NUS with its teaching and learning. We hope to donate more should the NUS library require them.”

 

NUS Head Librarian in response said "NUS is honoured to receive such a substantial assistance from QUT in our endeavours to provide adequate equipment to assist our students in their pursuit for higher learning and provide them with better learning opportunities.  We thank QUT profoundly for this donation."  

 

These 30 desktop computers are reconditioned from QUT, and part of a large resource of computers donated to support learning schools in Australia and abroad. The value of these computers amounts to AUD $1,470.00, equivalent to about SAT$3,000.00.  The monetary value shadows the intrinsic value of increased student access to internet and online resources as well capacity building (computing, communication skills) made possible by these technologies.

 

The Vice Chancellor recently commented on how pleased he was with this kind donation and relayed to QUT his gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the staff and tertiary students of the National University of Samoa. 

 

We especially wish to recognize the diligence, technical and charitable work of all those in Brisbane and QUT who were able to compile and transport this valuable equipment for Samoa. May God bless you richly and may you continue to find happiness and success in your work and assistance for those in unfortunate circumstances. 

 

Caption: NUS students using the donated computers    NUS Head Librarian Avalogo Nanai T Tunupopo

 

 

 

When all good things come to an end.

It has been a long and adventurous journey in China. Following five weeks of unswerving lectures, practical workshops and field visits, participants have successfully completed the training on Paper Cutting and Traditional Folk Handicraft Production for Developing Countries 2017.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce and organized by the International Exchange Centre (I.E.C) of Yangling Demonstration Zone, it is time to bid farewell not only to the host country but to colleagues from attending countries who have shared this experience with us.

The Deputy Secretary General of Yangling Demonstration Zone, Mr. Bai Hongwei in his keynote address congratulated the participants for having completed the course. “I urge you all to apply the lessons learned in China to further promote cultural programmes as an investment in your own countries.”

Among the guests who attended the closing ceremony included Ms Cui Zhiwei, Inspector of Shaanxi Women’s Federation, management and staff of I.E.C as well as the media.

Participating countries at this training course included Dominica, Jamaica, Seychelles, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe as well as the largest delegation from Panama.

A big faafetai to the Chinese Ambassador H.E. Wang Weufeng and his Good Lady as well as his staff for organising our group travel. 

Returning the favour of acknowledging the assistance of the People’s Republic of China, I was invited to say a few words on behalf of the group. The following text was delivered during the closing ceremony which sums up our month long stay in China:

Caption: Group photo; Closing

 

“ACKNOWLEDGEMENT REMARKS BY VICTORIA LEPOU – REPRESENTATIVE OF TRAINING ON PAPER CUTTING AND TRADITIONAL FOLK HANDICRAFT PRODUCTION FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 2017

DISTINGUISHED OFFICIALS OF THE YANGLING DEMONSTRATION ZONE

MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF THE YANGLING INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE CENTER

PARTICIPANTS

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

Ni hao! Good Morning and Hola!

I am humbled to be given this special opportunity to reminisce on our journey on behalf of participants of the Training on Paper Cutting and Traditional Folk Handicraft Production for Developing Countries 2017.

It has been a wonderful and amazing intercultural and architectural experience sharing knowledge, skills and attitudes from each country alongside China’s expertise in paper cutting and traditional folk handicraft production.

When I say architectural experience, each participant was not only introduced into the history of many forms of art but this training has taken us to communities where such practices are the lifeblood of the Chinese people.

For this group, each participating country will take away new ideas, knowledge and skills to be applied in their respective fields. What comes next will be at the discretion of each individual but at least to this day, we are here as one voice to acknowledge the huge contribution by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

Five weeks of training is a lifetime experience for the participants. For some, this is their first time in China. For some, this is one of their many trips and still fascinated by the growing social and economic development of China.

Yangling has been our home throughout this training. Most of us would miss this place, the three course meal every day at this beautiful hotel, the gym (for some), the housemaids, tour guides, hotel staff and our hangout place outside uncle’s shop at the park.  So, thank you to the officials of the Yangling Demonstration Zone.

Coming from different backgrounds with different perspectives, I can only say (on behalf of the group), that we have not only learnt about China’s culture through its wonderful and friendly people, lectures and activities but we have also learned about the cultures of other countries present in this room. 

Bringing together people of various backgrounds who hold different perspectives is not an easy job.  Therefore we must acknowledge the hardworking staff of the Yangling International Exchange Center.

To Lily, Daisy and Troy – you deserve a pat on the back and let me say, congratulations for a job well done.  Thank you very much for your patience whenever there are questions.  It is not always easy to manage and coordinate such events. We learned in this journey that there are many Very Impatient People (V.I.P’s) in China, but you three have been Very Patient putting up with us day and night – especially Troy.  No more will you hear anyone calling you “Troy please, Troy where are we going? Troy what is this and what is that? We will miss you three and we will miss China”.

Last but not the least – to all participants, thank you for the friendships we have developed since day one.  Until we meet again. Safe travels back home and God bless.

Most importantly, to the organisers, if the words we had said or actions had been inappropriate, let me also take this opportunity to convey our sincere apologies.  As the saying goes “Let bygones be bygones” “Forgive and forget and start anew”.

 

Xie Xie, Thank you, Gracias.

Being in China for a full month being taught with unpretentious and simple artistic Chinese skills in paper cutting and producing handicrafts has been rewarding.

With two more weeks to go, the National University of Samoa (NUS) team representing Samoa at the Training Course on Paper Cutting and Traditional Folk Handicraft Production for Developing Countries surely have learned the basic skills needed.

THANK YOU: Fa’amausili Paletuatoa Toelupe acknowledging Xi’an Peihua University President and Chairman, Mr Jiang Bo

They can then tailor to suit and enhance knowledge on existing curriculum and apply skills acquired through classroom practices. As much as I would like to expand on how the training outcomes will be put into practice in media and journalism education, it all comes down to meeting the basic resource demands and fill in the pieces to where it best fits.

In this fast growing technological era where everything is becoming digital (with relevant software that can be bought online) to create the most fascinating or rather appropriate plain backdrops for a basic student television production, spending time to place those designs on paper and start cutting would be the least considered option for journalism educators and learners.

Unless for instance, a learning outcome is integrated in the television course for students to create their own backdrops using unique Samoan designs such as the ‘tatau’ or ‘siapo’, either on paper (a cheaper option) or stencil. 

It is worth exploring with of course, looking elsewhere for funds to acquire items such as (the right) scissors, thin coloured papers and glue.

Having a team of lecturers from other faculties such as the Teacher Education Department, on this trip, is a bonus.

For Laeimau Peru Tugaga, who teaches Food and Textiles, she is appreciative of new ideas that could be shared with training teachers whom will continue teaching children in primary schools as part of their teaching methods.

“The fashion industry is growing in Samoa and so as the cultural designs now increasingly becoming more modern,” Laeimau said.  “The art of cutting paper designs is still being practised today by some tailors whereas most no longer consider it an art, instead, cutting materials according to measurements that would either be accurate or not.”

Learning the knowledge and skills from where it started has been an exquisite experience for Laeimau.  This week, she was rewarded with a paper cut masterpiece as one of the four first prize getters whose sample artworks had impressed the trainers.

Caption: Laeimau Peru Tugagga with her prize from the organisers.

The opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge about preservation of Chinese culture through folk arts is an exceptional experience for me in this trip.

Switching backgrounds from journalism to learning and producing folk handicrafts on site was challenging for me in the first week.  I could still get it if I keep on practising.  I would definitely need time.   

Aside from my previous media training trips to China mainly covering for the news outlets I was working for or learn about theoretical and metropolitan views of the media worldwide, taking the classroom to the rural areas and workshops have been unique for this training.

More than fifty participants heard from professors in paper cutting, clay sculptures, dough modelling and rock painting over the last two weeks in Yangling and Xi’an Cities in Shaanxi Province.  A province that ‘is well known for making some of the most beautiful paper arts’ as noted by the founder of Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Phoebe A. Hearst at the University of California.

 

The group was also taken aback with an Art Gallery housed at China’s oldest and privately funded higher education institution, the Xi’an Peihua University.  Its main campus located in Xi’an (the capital city of Shanxi province), has an eight storey modern library with 2 million books in store which are also available in digital form.  It is open 24 hours a day especially to its postgraduate students with a wifi connection enabling students to connect to its databases and conduct research anywhere, on campus.

 

The university President and Chairman of Board of Directors, Mr Jiang Bo, welcomed the participants and took a two hour tour with the group. Dr Jiang is the fourth and youngest President in his family who took over from his grandfather. Investing millions of dollars in education is money well spent, according to Mr Bo. “My family believes in educating China by providing the most convenient learning environment for the young people who will eventually become great leaders and give back to the community.”

 

This week’s session will be shifted to China’s present city of Beijing for three days.

 

Latest News

Thumbnail The Conference for Science & Technology for Sustainable Development hosted by the National University of Samoa (NUS) in partnership with the South Pacific Regional Environmental Program (SPREP) was held this week at NUS. The Conference began on 22 November for 3 days. This auspicious conference...
Thumbnail Women are dominating research and educational roles within the National University of Samoa (NUS) with the announcement of a new Professor and three Associate Professors recently. The appointments included a new Professor of Computing and Computing Education, Professor Muagututi’a Ioana Tu’ugalei...
Thumbnail The University relies greatly on the generosity and kindness of valued partners and community to contribute to its ongoing development. On the 22nd September 2017, NUS was once again afforded such generosities as the NUS Learning Resource Centre (Library) was gifted with a donation of 30...
Thumbnail When all good things come to an end. It has been a long and adventurous journey in China. Following five weeks of unswerving lectures, practical workshops and field visits, participants have successfully completed the training on Paper Cutting and Traditional Folk Handicraft Production for...
Thumbnail Being in China for a full month being taught with unpretentious and simple artistic Chinese skills in paper cutting and producing handicrafts has been rewarding. With two more weeks to go, the National University of Samoa (NUS) team representing Samoa at the Training Course on Paper Cutting and...
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