Theology professor David Tombs of Otago University urges church leaders in the Pacific to champion the elimination of gender-based violence, sexual abuse and torture.


David Tombs outlined a research project that is undertaken by the New Zealand Institute for Pacific Research in the seminar at the National University of Samoa on Thursday the 15th of March 2018 at the Niuleá building.


Professor Tombs said the purpose of the project is to acknowledge and address the high rates of domestic violence in the Pacific.


The professor highlighted three key issues, which are church's silence on the issue of domestic violence, its failure to respond, and that domestic violence and gender based violence is not a concern of the church.


"The study revealed that more than 3000 girls and young women were raped in a year in countries of Liberia, Rwanda and it is a concern that churches in the Pacific should take seriously.

We urge religious leaders to champion the elimination of SGPV and to act with strong leadership in this regard," he said.


Professor Tombs also conducted a similar seminar for students of Piula Theological college.


The Student Support Services Unit (S.S.S) challenges students to achieve their goals and be successful by seeking support for any issues they face as students.

The manager of the Student Support Services Unit, Mrs Faletui Vailaau Toma says their aim is for students to graduate which is why she is reminding students of the essential support services they provide.

The unit offers support in three areas of Mathematics, English and Counseling. Computers are also available to students for usage.

The only challenge which they hope to remedy is the small space available to operate from.

Along with limited space, some students have even admitted to finding it hard to locate the S.S.S headquarters.

Student Support Services was established in 2015, and close to 300 students are being supported by the services to date, with the service encouraging students to make use of this support.

More information regarding the Student Support Services at N.U.S is found on the National University of Samoa’s website:

Student Support Services

The Student Support Services (SSS) offers a variety of services that are available to the students on campus. Our team comprises of two counsellors, literacy and a numeracy officer. We work as a team to make sure adequate support is provided to meet each student’s educational and welfare needs.

Services : counselling, literacy and numeracy programmes, career counselling for students, critical thinking skills workshops, social skills development workshops for students, health and welfare of students, assistance for International students in basic literacy skills both in English and Samoan

Learning Centre:  Our recently opened learning centre provides students with desktop computers with internet access to conduct their researches and a large space to do their studies.

Staff Contacts

Faletui. Valaau-Toma


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 20072 ext 287

House 4 second floor

Lepapaigalagala Campus

Luagalau Foisagaasina E. Shon

Student Counselor and Literacy Officer

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 20072 ext 319

Fesili Liu

Numeracy Officer

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 20072 Ext: 324

Students and staff of the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) were given a piece of national history when four panellists spoke on amendments to the national Flag, national anthem and the Constitution of the country.


The four panellists presented as part of the Centre for Samoan Studies Film and seminar series, in a presentation titled Symbolic Nationalism in Flux: Origins and Amendments to Samoa’s Anthem, Flag and Constitution.


Panellists include, Rosa Maiai, August Hansell (Tuso), Peseta Frank Wong and Professor Meleisea Leasiolagi Malama Meleisea.


Rosa Maiai spoke on how, where and when the flag came about. According to Maiai, the two Tamaaiga Malietoa and Tupua Tamasese created the flag.


Pens were used to colour the flag. The red part of the flag symbolises the blood of our forefathers. Blue symbolises the national unity and the white part is for our Pacific location. The flag was then taken to the Fono A Faipule for approval and it was approved.


It was in 1948 around June was when the flag was raised for the first time.


The original flag was taken by Ms. Brown from Masiofo Nou─ô and up until now the original flag is nowhere to be seen.

One of the panel members, Peseta Frank Wong shed some light on the history of the composer of the National Anthem.


According to Peseta, Sauniaau Ioane Iiga Kuresa composed the National Anthem.


He was a well known musician of his time, releasing his first composition in 1931, called “ Lou Nuu e Samoa e, Ua e Lalelei.

in 1939 he made history of being the first person to play two trumpets together, and he went on to start his own band at Leauvaa the same year.

He started a band at Leauvaa in 1939.


Sauniaau was born on the 23rd of January 1901 and died on the 10th July 1978.

Among his many achievements, was his love for music and painting.


Professor Meleisea Leasiolagi Malama Meleisea spoke on the amendments to the Constitution of Samoa,

He covered the Fundamental Rights, Customary Rights, Voting Rights, Womens Rights and Christianity in his presentation.


This seminar was part of the Centre for Samoan Studies seminar and film series at the National University of Samoa.

The Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship (F.O.B.E) continue to produce young leaders for the Nationa University of Samoa Student Association (N.U.S.S.A).

Another student from F.O.B.E Jerry Matamu has been appointed The National University of Samoa Student Association president.

He takes over from the outgoing president, Alexandra Torah Meafou who studies under the same faculty.

The N.U.S.S.A board officially welcomed the new president following the election last week.

Mr. Meafou congratulated the new president, and welcomed him on behalf of the board of N.U.S.S.A.

"I am very happy that I have achieved many good things while being a president of N.U.S.S.A, and today I' pass the torch to my successor," said Meafou.

"Jerry, you will take over this position, and from now on, everything I have done as a president, it ends today and will be his responsibility. I encourage him and also believe that he will continue to do better as it is, for the University and also for N.U.S.S.A," she added.

This year is the first year implementation of election results from a electorla partnership between N.U.S.S.A and the Office of the Electoral Commission (O.E.C). The O.E.C introduced to N.U.S a standardized ballot voting system that mimics the National Voting ballot as a hope to encourage University Students to vote by way of engaging them in this miniscule voting platform.

The NUSSA elects its new executive every year.


Gender stereotyping has been identified as one of the root causes of gender-based violence in Samoa.

A seminar on School Related Gender Based Violence was held at the National University of Samoa in a partnership with UNESCO to help tackle the issue of continuing violence in the school environment.

Stereotyping is believed to be another cause of the problem, where students are forced to feel a certain way because they are either different or don’t meet society’s expectations.

UNESCO Project Coordinator Nguyen Thanh Van says stereotypes is harmful because it sets out certain rules and standards for somebody that is different and not wanting to give up to such standards.

“For someone that is different and wouldn’t want to live up to these expectations, they would be automatically considered a minority or to be the outliers of society,” she added.

“Expectations is how the society expects someone to behave, or someone to act within a certain context,” she said.

With these expectations we have amongst each other, Van, says violence usually starts from there and later on would lead to social pressure.

With the partnership between UNESCO and the National University of Samoa Media and Journalism School, they were able to put together a seminar to educate the representatives of each faculty about school related gender based violence.

The seminar highlighted that there is a significant gap in the awareness of the public regarding to the forms of violence that exist in schools and its causes and consequences to the students.

Alexandra Meafou, the president for the National University of Samoa’s Students Association says, “I believe this seminar is helpful for everyone, especially someone who is a victim of violence such as myself.”

“It changes my mindset with what I have been taught and experience as a child,” he said.

“Everyone is equal, despite being rich or poor, black or white, weak or strong, we are all the same which is why we have to treat everyone fairly with the power we are given,” he added.

Stereotypes happen to both men and women. Gender stereotyping affects everyone equally.


Faculty of business and Entrepreneurship lecturer, Fesolaí Aleni Sofara says that men have an important part to play in advocating for the rights of the Nofotane.

This was during his presentation entitled, "THE LAW OF BEING AN IN-LAW.”


Mr. Sofara's presentation coincides with the commemoration of International Women's day, on the 8th of March 2018.


He said that to date, there is no English word that could define the word "nofotane" which is the term given to women married in to other families.

Fesola’i challenged many of the stigmas and stereotypes attached to being a nofotane.


"Nofotane are Women who are new in a family or a village and their role is to serve the men's family. She belongs in the kitchen,” he said.

“The Samoan saying is ia mu mata ile afi, or that the nofotane’s main responsibility is the kitchen facing the open fire,” he said.


Fesola’i said, that while Nofotane is an individual choice, it is a choice that is looked down upon by many.

“Once you made this choice to get married and move to the man’s family there is only one word to describe you. The Nofotane," he said.


He strongly disagrees that the nofotane is being valued less than women of the families of their husbands, and that they have no voice in decision making, as suggested by the United Nations.

Fesola’i says that many families are wealthy because of the work of the nofotane.

He says in his own experience, after interviewing five nofotane women in his family, he found them to be more trustworthy than his own family members.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Lafaitele Fualuga Taupi agreed with Fesolaí saying that Nofotane are not slaves, and that behind a great man is a greater woman.


Head of Department Samoan language and culture Seiuli Vaifou Temese commented that the word "tamaítaí," is translated as the daughter which all the fine things in her family is presented to.


The problem lies when she is relocated to her husband's family, where she cannot expect to take those fine things, and enjoy the same privileges as that of her husband's sisters.


Yet she believes that the Nofotane understands the family better, and patience is the key to her being blessed with something more special.

Fesola’i Toleafoa ‘Ape Aleni Sofara is a lecturer in Commercial law at the Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship at the National University of Samoa.

His article, Tui’umi: The assassin has recently been published in the Journal of Samoan Studies, Vol 7, (3), 87-93.

“I will not be limited to the kitchen.”

This was just one of the many strong statements made by Josephine Ogeuta, a third year student of the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) during a commemoration of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2018.

Every year on March 8th, the world celebrates International Women’s Day (I.W.D). This year’s theme is Press for Progress, given a continuous and strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity and equality.

To commemorate, the Faculty of Arts (FoA) Peer 2 Peer Group organized initiatives which included presentations and a short Film Screening.

Josephine Ogeuta shared her personal experiences as a Samoan woman in her home, community, and education environment.

Ogeuta questioned the role of women in Samoan history in the 1930s to the 1950s and why it is not part of the official history, the history of which we do not learn of in primary and secondary education.

Ogeuta believes the traces of history that include women remain untold and it’s evident in its omission within primary and secondary education standard benchmarks.

Ogeuta has taken it upon herself, to challenge the various cultural norms and break the barriers that she now realizes, poses a hindrance towards achieving her goals and aspirations as a young woman in Samoa.

“I will not limit my capacity and role as a young woman to the kitchen,” she said, putting emphasis on women and girls having the ability to shape their own lives and decisions.

Following Ogeuta’s presentation, Dr. Saui’a Louise Mataia-Milo shared a sneak peek at a research she was working on, focused around women.

The presentation displayed the various roles of women in Samoan history, including a tribute to the early pioneers of women recognition.

The images illustrated various perspectives of how our women and girls were perceived, what they were expected to do and look like as indigenous women.

One perspective of our Samoan women and girls that was very obvious from the snippets, was how they were sexualized namely by the Marines and those who took the photographs. However, these historical facts are never within conversation.

“Back then, our women and girls never had the chance or circumstances that enabled them to shape their own lives or make their own decisions, no one told their stories, I urge young women, to make your own history and tell your own story,” she said.

The Faculty of Arts Peer2Peer Initiative were behind the occasion as a part of involving youth in a youth initiative.

Misa Vicky Lepou
Head of Department and Lecturer

The Media and Communication Department is the provider of Media and Journalism education designed to prepare students to enter the media industry. It also provides courses in Language and Communication Skills for Trade programs, which are designed to prepare and develop students' qualities required as they enter their specialized field of work. The department aims to continue a supportive and accommodating concerned relationship with its students; provide for the educational needs of the various faculties and review its programs and activities to meet the changing needs of student


This program is intended for full-time learners. Applicants can enrol on a part-time basis and take one or two courses approved by the Dean of Faculty or Head of Department. This is also offered for practitioners currently active in the media industry


Learners must:

  • be a graduate of any NUS Foundation Program


  • be a mature aged student with at least 3 years relevant and current work experience; pass the interview and diagnostic test.


  • any other equivalent programme approved by the Head of Department

Department Website


Head of Department and Lecturer
Misa Vicky Lepou, BA S.Pac


Honiara Salanoa, BEd.S.Pac, CAT SP, PGDipSLTchg, MA(Hons) Waikato, PHD Candidate (PDL
Temukisa Suisala, BA NUS, Cert IV TAE APTC
Pua Vaituutuu Toimoana, BA NUS Fuatia Kuki Malifa, CertTchg USP, DipEd STC, Bed Massey 
Faaolo Utumapu-Utailesolo, BA AUT Auckland, MA ANU
Joshua Lafoa’i, Diploma in Media NUS

Music enthusiasts from the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) got the opportunity to hear an experienced musician on the importance of music history and originality during a seminar last week at the Niuleá building seminar room.

This seminar was about the making of music and musician in modern Samoa , which Ms. Courtney Savali Leiloa Andrew was the presenter.

Ms. Courtney Savali Leiloa Andrew is a PhD. candidate in Ethnomusicology at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington.

She is also a musician and musical director of Samoan and African American heritage from Seattle, Washington, USA.

Miss Andrews shared with music students of N.U.S the importance of knowing and understanding the history of music, in order to move forward in modern music.

She also challenged students about the importance of using the originality of songs and music from ancient times.

Miss Andrews hails from the villages of Amanave, Nua ma Seetaga in American Samoa, and Safotu Savaii.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed her commitment to the pacific in their fight against Climate Change.

Her comments were made during a meeting with students of the National University of Samoa at le Papaigalagala.

“I tell you, I will fight for the pacific in international stages to ensure that your voices are not gone unheard,” said Ardern when asked about her stance on climate change.

Students engaged with the Prime Minister regarding issues pertaining to youth, climate change and gender.

“Samoa has very little contribution to the pollution in the region compared to other countries,” she said.

She believe it’s must for all islands to starts small, including investing in electric cars.

“Because all cars use petrol and diesel, and those are the other factors contribute to pollution in the air,” she added.

She says Samoa and New Zealand’s partnerships are ideal for the development of the region especially in targeting issues such as climate change.

The vice chancellor thanked the prime minister and her cabinet for visiting N.U.S especially her commitment to fighting climate change.



The New Zealand Prime Minister Hon. Jacinda Ardern will arrive on the grounds of the National University of Samoa (.N.U.S) on Monday the 5th of March.

This is part of the Prime Minister's official visit to Samoa and other Pacific islands.

The Honourable Prime Minister and her delegation, will be welcomed with a traditional ava ceremony upon their arrival at Papaigalagala.

This will be followed by an art exhibition and a photo shoot.

The highlight of the day will be a question and answer session where students of the National University of Samoa will question the Prime Minister on three thematic areas of Gender, Climate Change and youth.

Students of the National University of Samoa will be a part of these open discussions come Monday morning at Le Papaigalagala.

The Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa, Prof Fui Leapai Tuua Asofou So’o says he is very much looking forward to this event, as it is a once in a life time opportunity for students.

Around 300 students and staff of the National University of Samoa are expected to be part of this occasion.


Pacific history was made with the very first Pacific Ministerial Shark Symposium opening in Samoa today, demonstrating global leadership from the island region in protecting and conserving Pacific sharks and rays.


The world’s first regional shark sanctuary, the Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary between Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Republic of Marshall Islands, was established in the Pacific in 2015.  It was also the Pacific island nation, Palau that established the world’s very first shark sanctuary in 2009.


Over the course of two days Pacific Ministers are building momentum on the leadership displayed to conserve our iconic marine species.


“We have led the world to see that the future of our countries depends on proper management of marine ecosystems, creating and capitalising on the momentum these realisations have created to ensure shark populations are finally getting the proper management they so need,” said Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.


“Though much has been achieved, proper shark conservation and management remain a pertinent global issue. Sharks are economically, ecologically and culturally important to us Pacific Islanders, yet many populations are plummeting to frighteningly low levels.”


The Pacific Ministerial Shark Symposium is the culmination of a partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Samoa, the Pew Charitable Trusts and Paul. G Allen Philanthropies.


Over 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries to meet the high demand of shark fins, despite the fact that healthy reefs are vital for tourism.  Science shows that sharks help maintain the health of coral reefs.


An individual shark is estimated to be valued at USD 1.9M over its lifetime to the tourism industry in Palau.  In 2011 the shark diving industry contributed USD 42.2m to the Fijian economy. 


Despite the value of sharks to the Pacific, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that 54% of sharks and rays are threatened or near threatened with extinction.


I believe that we have made considerable progress in addressing the headlong collapse of shark populations in our region.   We have achieved this through a unity of purpose, displaying the same solidarity that has served Pacific island nations well in the climate change negotiations, and which we saw on display at the UN Ocean Conference last year,” said Mr Roger Cornforth, Acting Director General of SPREP.


“We have worked together to achieve listings for shark and rays at the recent Conferences of Parties to both the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). Although Fiji, Palau and Samoa were the proponents for mobula rays at CITES and the four Pacific CMS Parties (Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau and Samoa) on blue sharks at CMS respectively, they relied on and received the support of all Pacific island Parties, who stood alongside them in the international arena.”


Over the course of the two days the Pacific ministers and officials will take part in a tree planting initiative to offset their carbon footprint from the journey to Samoa.  The host country, Samoa will also be announcing their shark sanctuary and it is hoped the two day event will result in a Pacific Island Ministers Declaration on the Conservation of Sharks and Rays.


The Pacific Ministerial Shark Symposium is a partnership between SPREP, MNRE, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Paul. G Allen Philanthropies, it is taking place in Samoa, from 1 – 2 March, 2018 in Samoa.  Pacific Ministers from Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are attending with high level officials also participating from Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

Page 1 of 4