The Academic Quality Unit is responsible for coordinating academic quality assurance processes at the National University of Samoa. All programmes and courses at the NUS are subject to periodic external and internal quality assurance.
1.1 Internal Quality Assurance
Quality assurance processes involving the internal NUS community (staff and students).
a. Student Course Evaluation:Student feedback on courses and teaching is obtained every semester to inform continuous improvement.
b. Student Feedback on Non-Academic Services: A survey of graduating Foundation and TVET students was conducted for the first time in December 2016 to obtain feedback on NUS non-academic services e.g. IT, library, student support services and student administration services. A survey of this type will be undertaken with different groups of graduating students on a biennial basiGraduate Survey:The annual NUS graduate survey obtains information on the employment status of NUS graduates.
1.2 External Quality Assurance
Quality assurance processes involving the NUS community and external stakeholders.
a. Academic Audit:The NUS engages with the Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities (AQA) for external institutional quality assurance. The first Academic Audit of the NUS was carried out in 2015.
b. Programme Review: all programmes at the NUS undergo a programme review by an external panel every six years to determine its strengths and weaknesses and produce a plan for improvement.
c. Provider Registration with SQA: The NUS is registered as a provider of post-school education and training with the Samoa Qualifications Authority as required by law.
d. Programme Accreditation: As of January 2017, all pre-degree programmes at the NUS are subject to the Samoa Qualifications Authority programme accreditation standards. Accreditation of degree programmes is undertaken jointly by the NUS and the Samoa Qualifications Authority under a Memorandum of Agreement signed in 2017. The NUS is also pursuing international accreditation of its degree programmes with relevant accrediting authorities worldwide.
e. Quality Audit: The School of Maritime Training submitted to a Quality Audit by the Samoa Qualifications Authority in May 2018. The School of Maritime Training is now working on that report requirements for further improvement.
1.3 Quality Enhancement
The AQU is also involved in activities that focus on improving one or more aspects of teaching and learning at the NUS, either in a leading or supporting role.
i. Curriculum Review and Update:as a result of recommendations from external programme reviews, several Faculties are reviewing and updating their programme curriculum in 2018. This includes the Faculty of Technical Education (Apprenticeship Training Programmes), the Faculty of Health Sciences (Bachelor of Nursing, Diploma of Nursing), and Centre of Samoan Studies (Bachelor of Samoan Studies).
ii. Quality Checklist for new Programmes and Courses: approved by the NUS Senate in March 2018, this checklist provides a reference point for committees and university staff when discussing and making decisions on new programmes and courses. This checklist will be used by the AQU during the programme approval process, but it can also be used by staff and university committees at any time to assist with development, monitoring and review of programmes and courses.
iii. International Benchmarking:the NUS played a central in the coordination of the Higher Education Peer Quality Project which included the University of the South Pacific, Manukau Institute of Technology, University of Waikato, supported by the University of Tasmania and Ako Aotearoa in New Zealand. The focus of the benchmarking project was on processes to support staff with teaching and course quality; reward and recognition of teaching staff and supporting student voice.
iv. NUS Graduate Profile: a statement of the general attributes which all NUS students will have the opportunity to develop as part of their learning experience at the National University of Samoa. Click here to download the NUS Graduate Profile
v. Graduate Employability Workshop:At the initiative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic & Research, a workshop to help graduates find employment after graduation was held for the first time in November 2016. This event is now part of the annual NUS Calendar.