The Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa Professor Fui Leapai Asofou So’o
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 17 MAY 2018: The Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa was reappointed today for a fourth term – an opportunity to finish some of the projects he initiated and spearheaded.
Professor Fui Leapai Asofo So’o said there is a lot of work that need to be continued and consolidated as the University work is not confined to the University, but is a continuation of the work from the primary schools and colleges.
Professor Fui pointed to two of the major projects he wants to see improved and upgraded. These include working with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) in upgrading the students’ grades.
“We have noted that many students pass the exams to enter the University, however, we also noted that most of them do not reach the highest grades needed on most subjects,” he said.
He believes this is something that the University and MESC should work together to address.
The other challenge he would be addressing in the next three years is preparing the University students well and assisting them with the skills so they are able to find work after graduating.
Professor Fui said they have been accused often of prioritizing students getting degrees and diplomas rather than assisting with preparing them for work after university.
He is also working on the recognition of the University certificates and diplomas at overseas universities, and they are working together with the Samoa Qualifications Authority in accrediting some of the training done locally.
Professor Fui believes some of the successes of his time at the helm include some of the achievements witnessed at the University such as upgrading the expertise and qualifications of the academic staff.
He said 35 years back, there were only two staff members with Masters Degrees, and that was the highest qualification at the time.
“Now we have more and better staff and we are also offering the Masters programmes here at the University.”
Forming alliances with overseas universities are all part of the development of the university and he commended the growth of the University in terms of programmes offered, indicating the responsiveness of the University to the needs of the community.
Professor Fui is grateful and humble at the same time to the University Council for the trust and confidence to have him lead the University for the next three years.
He also said after this term, he will step down and let someone else continue leading the University.
Professor Fui has served at the University as Vice Chancellor for 9 years now.
Asked if he had any interest in politics after his term, he said nothing is better than serving families and working on the plantation.