The Human Rights Protection Party

What is Good for Apia is also good for Savaii!
"O le mea e lelei i Apia, e lelei foi mo Savaii"

Oct 07

NUS unveils new Center of Samoa Studies

The Samoan cultural center ironically was funded entirely by the NUS ingenuity without government funding.
And it goes to show that the NUS “has come of age,” says Acting Prime Minister Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo in his congratulatory address at the dedication of the new center.

“Having a Center exclusively Samoan is more than an investment for our children to learn more about of culture, language and traditions, it is a guarantee that our identity and everything Samoan will be preserved forever,”  said Fonotoe.

“Government applauds the NUS initiative in realizing this momentous development because it is for the future of Samoa.”

The center which includes the Samoa Fale and three new infrastructures, according to Vice-Chancellor Leapai Professor Asofou So’o, is a priority in the NUS development plan already adopted by the University’s senate and endorsed by the Cabinet Development Committee, (CDC).

“The cultural center is critical to the university’s push in developing the performing arts. Every year, we have a New Zealand artist in-residence for three months under a continuing programme with Creative New Zealand.

“It has been a tremendous help to us.

“Our young people, I need not tell you, have huge stage potential.

It comes naturally to us.”

“The center is also part of the long-term plan to build new infrastructure to meet the growing number of students,” Leapai continued.

Student body, he said, now numbers over 3000.

“The University’s Samoan studies are rapidly growing.

“We have to create new courses and new revenue streams for the university.

“We also have to continue diversifying the courses we are offering.”

And he acknowledged that despite the $11 million tala annual grant from government there is no way that alone coupled by tuition fees can cover the university’s operating costs

“Instead of waiting for a government hand out, we applied a mixture of Samoan ingenuity to save a bit aside and build the center by phases.

“Understandably so, government also has other priority areas,” he was quick to add.

“But the point I’m trying to get across is that people should understand that running a good university soak up a lot of resources that we don’t have at the moment.

“And there is also a whole lot the university needs as it continues to expand.”

Leapai said that Treasury has informed the university that they would be willing to fund – or seek a funder – for all the facilities that the university needs in a one-off package assistance.

“And the university is willing to take it up because we desperately need that lift in infrastructure.”

But meanwhile, he said, the university is playing it by ear and going about its developments using ‘Samoan ingenuity’.

‘If we can save a bit of money at the end of the financial year, then we build a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

The NUS fale after all was built through a loan from UTOS.”

Author: Nanai Laveitiga Tuiletufuga
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