IJLLL 2017 Vol.3(2): 32-38 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2017.3.2.106

Pacific Connections: Language and Literary Studies, Challenges and Developments at the National University of Samoa

Sina Va'ai
Abstract—This paper discusses the challenges and developments in the domain of language and literary studies at the National University of Samoa (NUS) in Apia. One of three universities in this Pacific Island nation, it is branded as the premiere national tertiary institution in the country. NUS was founded in 1984 by an Act of Parliament with a $5 Samoan Tala (ST) equivalent to $3 USD budget, a Foundation Programme with 45 students and 7 Faculty members amidst much controversy and national debate as to the need and sustainability of such an institution. With the help of Japanese Aid, NUS moved to a new much expanded campus and physical facilities and has now grown in the last 32 years to a roll of several thousand students, 300 staff (both academic and administration) and an annual budget of over ST$10 million. The challenges and developments at NUS are many and varied, particularly in the field of language and literary studies in English given that for the majority of students English is a second language. For school-leavers who enter their Foundation Programme, English is a compulsory subject and whilst the founding ethos of NUS is to promote and advance studies relating to Samoa, including Samoan language and culture, the forces of post-colonialism and globalisation impacting on the Pacific region demand that students be competent in the international language of English. This has led to the recent introduction since 2012 of curricular initiatives to address declining competencies in English, especially in the field of reading and comprehension.

Index Terms—National University of Samoa, challenges, developments, language, literary studies.

Sina Va'ai is with the Faculty of Arts, National University of Samoa, Samoa (e-mail: smtvaai@yahoo.com).

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Cite:Sina Va'ai, "Pacific Connections: Language and Literary Studies, Challenges and Developments at the National University of Samoa," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 32-38, 2017.

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