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The team from Nagano College of Nursing Japan which comprised two members of faculty and three third year students recently completed the students’ two week exchange program in Samoa. The exchange program between the two institutions commenced after a Memoranda of Understanding was signed in 2001 and was reviewed in August, 2018. In the early years of this initiative, faculty members from the NUS’ School of Nursing went to Japan and circa 2004, the exchange program began to include nursing students. It continues to see nursing students from Samoa and Japan having the opportunity to experience the nursing practice in a different culture, with each institute taking turns on alternating years. The Nagano School of Nursing generously covers the cost of the exchange program for one of NUS’ School of Nursing students and the other student is accommodated by funds raised by the NUS’ School of Nursing faculty and students. At the end of the attachment, students and faculty share their experiences with the host institution and upon their return to their home institution, are able to share the wealth of knowledge and experience gained.

 During their attachment in Samoa, Nagano’s School of Nursing students visited the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital in Moto’otua and the Safotu District Health Facility in Savaii. They observed the practice of their nursing counterparts and accompanied nursing teams on their work in the community and schools. See below several photos from the presentation of Nagano College of Nursing students and faculty staff and students from the School of Nursing on Monday March 7th 2019 at the Fale Samoa.

Caption: Nagano College of Nursing Students present to faculty and students of the School of Nursing at the Fale Samoa 

Caption: Faculty and students of  the School of Nursing listen intently to the exchange student's presentation

Caption: Faculty and students from the Nagano College of Nursing share their thanks with the audience

Caption:  Staff of the School of Nursing National University of Samoa with students from the Nagano College of Nursing


Through the director’s eyes, the script becomes a living image, bringing a story to life making personal stories shared experiences and triggering emotion in the audience.

In this week’s seminar series, Saunima’a Ma Fulu-Aiolupotea,a long serving member of the School of Nursing faculty, shared her experiences of participating in the Centre for Samoan Studies Film Challenge in 2018, and the short film which was produced from her personal story.

Entitled using film to document and foster dialogue on topical issues in Samoa—the production of the film “Boss at Work- Nofotane at Home”, Saunima’a shared the poignant, personal story behind the film which ultimately earned 3rd place and was awarded a special prize for best pocket documentary.

 Caption: Saunima’a Ma Fulu-Aiolupotea, Nurse Lecturer in Nursing

Processes and Critical Reasoning, at the National University of Samoa

(photo extracted from the Film “Boss at Work- Nofotane at Home”)

Nofotane are women who live with their husband and his family in his village. Women in this role are expected to be in service to their in laws, and can have a wide variety of personal experiences. Saunima’a took the opportunity while sharing her story, to remind the audience that this was her personal story and could not be used to generalize the experiences of all Nofotane.

Caption: Audience listening to Saunima’a’s presentation

Through the Centre for Samoan Studies Film Challenge 2018, which was sponsored by the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme, the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development and the Australian High Commission, participants benefited from two workshops which covered the different aspects of short film making using smart phones. This training took participants through script writing, directing, filming and editing using smart phones under the skilled tutelage of Catherine Marciniak, experienced journalist at Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Completed films were judged by a panel of local and regional judges and prizes awarded by the sponsors. All films produced from the Centre for Samoan Studies Film Challenge 2018 can be viewed on the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Facebook page.

The Faculty of Health Science hosts its seminar series on Mondays between 12 pm and 2 pm at the AOA Conference Room, NUS Main Campus. 


Confident of its intellectual and academic capacity, and intent on better serving the best interest of Samoa and its stakeholders, and meeting the demands of the knowledge economy, the NUS has established its online Research and Publications portal.

The official launch of the web portal was held on Thursday, the 13th of December 2018, at 6 o’clock in the evening at the NUS Gymnasium.


What benefits society in a more immediate and tangible manner, this is now the NUS research focus. Engagement, relevance, innovation, and impact will define the NUS research function for the next five years.

Our overarching research themes are economic development, environment protection and sustainability, a healthy Samoa, and the promise and caution of the information age. These themes are interrelated and mutually enriching, converging at a single point: Development. There is thus a conscious alignment of the NUS research mission with the Development Strategies being pursued by the Government of Samoa.

Relative to those themes and targeting our Development needs, our strategic research priorities over the next five years are: (1) TVET and the provision of industry knowledge and skills relevant to the work market. (2) Environment protection and sustainability in the face of climate change. (3) The health and well-being of all Samoans. (4) Information technology (IT) for professional and business development. Without abdicating our requisite intellectual engagement with pure theory, as well as the ongoing necessary quest for new ones, it is timely nevertheless to attend more vigorously to the applied dimension of research and, merging theory and practice, find practical solutions that work on the ground.

The NUS Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Fui Le’apai Tu’ua Ilaoa Asofou So’o, appropriately underlines the fundamental importance of the research function of the NUS, as in all other universities: `Research is at the centre of our University’s forward strategy.’ The online Research & Publications portal takes that vision forward.

The portal contains important information on the NUS’s Research & Publications portfolio, such as information on its governing Committee (UREC) acting subject to the jurisdiction of the NUS Council, the NUS Research Plan 2018-2023, Research and Publication Policies, application for funding procedures, an Ethics Approval Guideline, a record of Research Outputs, and a Directory of Expertise of NUS academic staff and researchers. 

To learn more about the launch and/or the contents of the portal, contact the UREC Secretariat at 20072, or by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit the NUS website at after the Thursday launch.

A collaboration between two lecturers, Professor Anne E. Gursney Allen from Indiana University Southeast and Matatumua Maluiao Leua Latai, a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Education (NUS) comes to life, as ‘Paper Connections,’ an international juried art exhibition which opened at Indiana Univesity Southeast, at the Ronald Barr Art Gallery, in the United States. The first leg of the exhibition was hosted earlier this year at the Niule’a Exhibition Space at the Centre for Samoan Studies, at the National University of Samoa. The exhibition consists of paper works created by faculty members and students of both Universities.

The interchange was the work of both lecturers over the span of six years advocating for the arts and emphasizing the importance of international communication, cultural exhange and the promotion of arts education as a viable pathway for young people. The exhibition justified what the arts can teach which is encouraging one’s capacities for creative thinking and imagination, problem solving, creative judgement and a whole lot more. Many people do not associate the arts with ‘thinking’. We have a tendency to be only aware of the art ‘product’ - the song, the picture, the play but less aware of the process which creates the product (Oddleifson and Solomon, 1995). According to Eric Oddleifson, ‘the arts should be the basis of education, because the deepest and most lasting experiences is through participation.


Indiana art community at the opening and faculty members of the Indiana Fine Arts Department enjoying the exhibition, October 2, 2018. Photographs courtsey of Anne Ellen, 2018 

Despite the challenges and setbacks, the achievement of featuring students and faculty work by both institutions gives motivation for not only our young people but to challenge them, that it can be achieveable with encouraging inspiring moments such as this. The exhibition was opened offically by  Chancellor Wallace of Indiana University Southeast and was well attended by students, faculty members and the art community of Indiana. The exhibit will be up untill the end of October and the artworks by the viusal art students of the National University of Samoa will be returned.

The opportunity for the exchange to occur was due to the determination and hardwork of both lecturers to provide their students with cultural experiences that are important to their development and to promote the arts in Samoa and the United States. There has been several visits from Indiana University Southeast to Samoa led by Professor Anne where her students immersed themselves in the fa’asamoa and engaged in cultural activities for a month in Savaii, as well as participating in printmaking workshops hosted by the Visual Art students at the National University of Samoa.  The conversations have continued where both staff and students are currently working together on a new project called the ‘Art Agency Beautification Project,’ spearheaded by an independent non profit student organization which comprises students from the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Arts (NUS). The project aims at beautifying the vicinities of the National University of Samoa.


Foundation students Paese Papalii and Edward Tauiliili showing the Indiana students how the popular Samoan ‘elei’ is done. Photo courtesy of Leua Latai, 2018 



Future collaborations in research for medical and other scientific areas of expertise were the focus of the symposium and discussions held on the 3rd of October, 2018 between the School of Medicine, NUS Research Experts and leading Research Professors from the University of Auckland and University of Otago. Professor Peter Shepherd from the University of Auckland and Professor Tony Merriman from the University of Otago paid a courtesy call to the National University of Samoa and the School of Medicine to initiate discussions on possible partnerships in research development tackling medical conditions which are common in Samoa. Professors Shepherd and Merriman are leading researchers and investigators at the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiversity. Maurice Wilkins Centre is one of New Zealand’s national research Centers and ranked as Centre for Excellence for Molecular Biotechnology. The institution has contributed immensely initiating and conducting various research projects on health conditions that are common in the Pacific Island Countries.

Professor Peter Shepherd (fifth from left) and Professor Tony Merriman (second from left) with the NUS Vice Chancellor

Professor Fui Le’apai Asofou So’o (centre) and staff of NUS and SoM.

The discussions between the two institutions identified several challenges which includes amongst others cancer, diabetes, rheumatic fever, genetic, TB drugs, microbial drug resistance, gout and metabolic diseases as the priority areas for research development. Samoa is amongst the top ten countries in the world with an alarming rate of diabetic conditions. This is a major challenge to national developments of a small island nation such as Samoa posing a threat to the future population.  The proposed collaboration envisions scientists from the School of Medicine, leading researchers of NUS and other cohort institutions e.g. SROS to initiate a caucus that will work with Maurice Wilkins Center on research projects to help address the identified areas of health concerns within Samoa. In his presentation, Professor Shepherd shared his study on “Genetics and metabolic health of Maori and Pacific people” where statistics found that it is not directly environmental factors relating a certain individual with diabetic and obesity, gene is one other contributing element. He added that several new drugs are being developed and currently in clinical trials for the treatment of cancer, diabetics, TB and rheumatic diseases. Samoa will benefit greatly from this collaboration where local researchers at the School of Medicine and other Faculties can be part of the ongoing investigations of health conditions of our own people and more importantly identifying possible solutions.  

Additional discussions noted the need for the School of Medicine staff to explore opportunities that will enhance their skills and knowledge especially continuous professional development which will go a long way in redefining and rekindling the passion and love for scientific explorations.




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