National University of Samoa
Apia, Samoa

The National University of Samoa is the only national university in Samoa. Established in 1984 by an act of parliament, the university is coeducational and provides certificate, diploma, and undergraduate degree programs, as well as technical and vocational training. About 2,000 students are currently enrolled with an estimated 300 staff. It offers a wide range of programmes including Arts, Business and Entrepreneurship, Education, Science, Nursing, Engineering and Maritime Training. The Centre for Samoan Studies, established within the university for the teaching of the Samoan language and culture, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as the world first degree, Master of Samoan Studies.The National University of Samoa has the distinction of being one of two universities in Samoa, the second being the University of the South Pacific - Alafua Campus which specializes in Agriculture. The campus was built in part with funding from the Government of Japan. Wikipedia.

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Meese J.,University of Technology, Sydney | Mow I.C.,National University of Samoa
Mobile Media and Communication | Year: 2016

During the last decade Samoa significantly reformed its telecommunications sector. It introduced a new competitor—Digicel—into the market, privatised the state-owned company SamoaTel (now Bluesky Samoa) and established an independent regulator. These reforms have had a dramatic impact on mobile usage in Samoa, and now mobile phones and regular Internet access have become an everyday (and affordable) reality for a vast majority of the population. This paper provides a critical account of one of the most mature mobile markets in the Pacific region. Drawing on semistructured key informant interviews with individuals in the Samoan telecommunications sector and the public service (conducted in April 2014), the paper explores the emergence of a Samoan digital culture, a transformation which has only been possible thanks to the widespread take up of mobile phones on 3G networks. We outline how mobiles are being used in Samoa, the ways in which they integrate (or don’t) wiThexisting social and cultural norms and discuss the wider infrastructural issues that have emerged in light of this increased usage. We end by reflecting on what the Samoan experience can tell us about telecommunications reform in developing countries more generally. © The Author(s) 2016.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: INCO.2013-1.5 | Award Amount: 3.36M | Year: 2013

The research and innovation landscape of the Pacific is extremely diverse, ranging from Pacific Island Countries and Territories with little or no ST&I capacity, Overseas Countries Territories with strong capacities, to New Zealand and Australia, which have numerous networks of research and innovation institutions. The EU, which maintains a long standing relationship with the Pacific, aims for enhancing its profile and reinforcing cooperation in ST&I with the region, in the perspective of the forthcoming Horizon 2020 Programme, and promote the development of mutually beneficial partnerships Considering the results of past and ongoing initiatives supporting the EU-Pacific ST&I cooperation, PACE-Net Plus will: - Support the EU-Pacific policy dialogue in ST&I, including dialogue on innovation issues. - Reinforce the EU-Pacific ST&I cooperation, focusing on 3 major societal challenges: 1) health, demographic change and wellbeing; 2) food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy; and 3) climate action, resource use and efficiency, and raw materials; Encourage the coordination between the EU and Member States ST&I programmes and policies targeting the Pacific by promoting the implementation of joint actions. - Enhance the cooperation on innovation issues, by helping in bridging the gap between public and private sectors. The project will promote the idea of innovation as an essential mean for tackling global challenges and will respond to the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and its Innovation Union Flagship Initiative. - Strengthen the Pacific-EU research cooperation partnerships, through the promotion of EC and MS&AC programmes, especially Horizon 2020, among Pacific research community, as well as the Pacific opportunities for European researchers.

PubMed | National University of Samoa and Brown University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Clinical biochemistry | Year: 2016

To define biochemical hyperandrogenemia (HA) among a population-based sample of reproductive-aged Samoan women, taking into consideration their high BMI levels.A secondary analysis was performed among a cross-sectional sample of Samoan women aged 25-39years (n=494) who were part of a larger genome-wide association study (GWAS) of adiposity. Women indicating pregnancy/lactation, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, cancer treatment, or use of contraceptive injections were excluded from the study. We analyzed the distribution of free androgen index (FAI) values to establish normative androgen data among Samoan women of reproductive age. Using the lowest tertile of body mass index (BMI), we defined HA as free androgen index (FAI) values >95(th) FAI percentile in that subsample. We compared the anthropometric and metabolic characteristics of women with HA to women with normal androgen levels.HA was defined as FAI>8.5. Using this definition, 14% of women were classified as hyperandrogenemic. Women with HA had significantly higher average BMI values, abdominal circumferences, fasting triglycerides, and insulin levels as well as significantly lower adiponectin levels.This study is the first to define normative androgen values among Samoan women with a quantitative assessment of the relationship between adiposity and androgen levels. The uniquely high BMI levels in the population not only provide important clinical insight into normative androgen values among Samoan women, but they also serve as references for the clinical assessment of HA, taking into consideration BMI, in other populations.

Mow I.C.,National University of Samoa | Sasa H.,National University of Samoa | Shields C.,George Mason University | Fitu L.,National University of Samoa
Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries | Year: 2017

This paper reports on the findings of a 400 household survey which investigated what sources of information and technical medium Samoan citizens trust and act upon in times of disaster. Findings of the survey indicated the following. 1)The predominance and pervasiveness of mobile phones at 91% indicate its potential for use in any disaster response and relief interventions. 2) With only 34% of mobile phones being Smart phones: Disaster preparedness, early warning and response interventions should target basic mobile phone sets. 3) With 65% of respondents using Face Book this social media should be considered as a possible avenue for lateral dissemination for early warning and disaster response. 4) The predominance of radio followed by TV as an important, trusted source of information which people act on indicate its important role in any emergency response interventions. Since these media are trusted sources they should be used extensively for dissemination of information for preparedness, early warning and disaster response. 5) Professional reporters are regarded by the majority as the most predominantly used, the most trusted and the most important source of information and news during an emergency. The findings of this survey generate important considerations towards a people centred early warning and disaster relief system.

PubMed | University of Otago, Samoa AIDS Foundation, Samoa Family Health Association, Victoria University of Wellington and 5 more.
Type: | Journal: BMC infectious diseases | Year: 2016

In our recent village-based cross-sectional study, the prevalence of nucleic acid amplification technique (NAAT) diagnosed Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) in sexually active Samoan women was very high (36%), and test positivity was associated with sub-fertility. We conducted a serological and epidemiological analysis in these participants to identify if serological data can provide further insight into the potential contribution of CT to sub-fertility in this population.Serological prediction of CT associated sub-fertility was conducted using a series of commercial tests. The correlation between fertility or sub-fertility, behavioral factors, and serologically predicted CT associated sub-fertility was determined.A positive antibody reaction against the Chlamydia Major Outer Membrane Protein (MOMP) was significantly associated with sub-fertility, with 50% of infertile women being positive. Serum IgG and IgA antibodies against MOMP correlated with current infection measured by urine NAAT, suggesting longer term infections are common in this population. Chlamydia pneumoniae antibodies were frequently detected in this population (84%), and unexpectedly, were significantly associated with sub-fertility.The high prevalence of chlamydial infection and of positive chlamydial sub-fertility results suggests that CT is an important and frequent contributory factor to sub-fertility in this population.

Heard E.,National University of Samoa | Auvaa L.,National University of Samoa | Pickering C.,Samoa Family Health Association
Health Promotion Journal of Australia | Year: 2015

Issues addressed This project addressed the sexual health and well being of youth in Samoa; a key at-risk group experiencing high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and alienation from sexual health services. Methods Love Bugs included a health promotion event held at the National University of Samoa (NUS), exposing young people to sexual health information and developing personal skills and building self-efficacy around healthy relationships, communication and safer sex. A survey provided insights into participants' knowledge and perceptions of sexual health, STIs and healthy relationships. In response to survey results, six free condom dispensers were installed at NUS. Results Love Bugs exposed over 500 Samoan youth to positive sexual health information and provided an opportunity for personal skill development with regard to protecting sexual health and well being. Condom dispensers were developed and installed on the university campus for the ongoing access by students without concern of cost or embarrassment. Strong partnerships were built between key community and government stakeholders that encouraged collaborative action towards protecting sexual health and well being of Samoan youth. Conclusions Love Bugs was a successful initiative which addressed sexual health and well being of young people in Samoa. A comprehensive evaluation should be undertaken. So what? Love Bugs highlighted creative and culturally-appropriate ways to address sexual health in the Pacific. Rates of STIs and unplanned pregnancies, particularly for youth, could be reduced through investment in the implementation and evaluation of such initiatives. © Australian Health Promotion Association 2015.

Mow I.T.C.,National University of Samoa
Technological Developments in Networking, Education and Automation | Year: 2010

This paper is based on the second phase of an investigation which explored student attitudes and experiences in collaborative and individualised learning in computer based instruction. It attempted to answer the questions a) whether Samoan students prefer learning in a cooperative learning environment as opposed to individualised learning and secondly b) whether collaborative learning is more effective than individualised learning? Research results indicated that students enjoy and show positive attitudes towards collaborative learning and that they perform well in a collaborative environment provided the essential conditions for effective collaborative learning are satisfied or present. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.

Chan Mow I.T.,National University of Samoa
Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries | Year: 2014

This paper is based on a study whose goals were to i) trace and analyse the developments of ICT in Samoa over the last 20 years, ii) identify issues and challenges in implementing these ICT developments iii) identify past and present strategies employed to resolve them and iv) from these findings make recommendations for the future in terms of policy implications, best practices and research. The conceptualisation of ICT developments, issues, challenges and strategies are based on Heeks' Inclusive Innovation theory (Heeks, 2013), Schumpeter's development theory (2002) and Sen's capability approach (1999). Analysis of ICT developments makes use of the World Bank Infodev framework for assessing ICT projects (World Bank, 2005). Analysis, reporting and discussion of the findings are made within the Framework of Action in ICT development in the Pacific (FAIDP, 2010). From this investigation of issues and strategies, recommendations have emerged for best practice and areas for potential research.

Buhule O.D.,University of Pittsburgh | Minster R.L.,University of Pittsburgh | Hawley N.L.,Yale University | Medvedovic M.,University of Cincinnati | And 5 more authors.
Frontiers in Genetics | Year: 2014

Background Batch effects in DNA methylation microarray experiments can lead to spurious results if not properly handled during the plating of samples. Methods Two pilot studies examining the association of DNA methylation patterns across the genome with obesity in Samoan men were investigated for chip- and row-specific batch effects. For each study, the DNA of 46 obese men and 46 lean men were assayed using Illumina's Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. In the first study (Sample One), samples from obese and lean subjects were examined on separate chips. In the second study (Sample Two), the samples were balanced on the chips by lean/obese status, age group, and census region. We used methylumi, watermelon, and limma R packages, as well as ComBat, to analyze the data. Principal component analysis and linear regression were respectively employed to identify the top principal components and to test for their association with the batches and lean/obese status. To identify differentially methylated positions (DMPs) between obese and lean males at each locus, we used a moderated t-test. Results Chip effects were effectively removed from Sample Two but not Sample One. In addition, dramatic differences were observed between the two sets of DMP results. After "removing" batch effects with ComBat, Sample One had 94,191 probes differentially methylated at a q-value threshold of 0.05 while Sample Two had zero differentially methylated probes. The disparate results from Sample One and Sample Two likely arise due to the confounding of lean/ obese status with chip and row batch effects.Conclusion Even the best possible statistical djustments for batch effects may not completely remove them. Proper study design is vital for guarding against spurious findings due to such effects.

PubMed | Culture X Samoa Dance Aerobics and National University of Samoa
Type: | Journal: Health promotion international | Year: 2016

There is an urgent need to address the epidemic rates of non-communicable diseases globally, and the Pacific Island region is of particular concern. Increasing physical activity participation plays an important role in reducing some of the key risk factors for non-communicable diseases including obesity and being overweight. In order to address low levels of physical activity, it is essential to understand the key barriers and facilitating factors experienced by specific population groups. The purpose of this study is to investigate key facilitating factors for participation in a dance aerobic initiative, Culture X, developed in the Pacific Island country, Samoa. The study further aims to understand ways in which the programme assists participants in addressing barriers to physical activity. Face-to-face interviews running from 10 to 20 min were conducted with 28 Culture X participants in order to gain a deep understanding of participants personal perspectives with regard to barriers and facilitating factors to physical activity. Findings suggest the inclusion of key cultural components (including, traditional dance moves and music, prayer, community orientation and family inclusiveness) were integral for supporting ongoing participation in Culture X. These components further assisted participants in addressing important personal and social barriers to physical activity (including lack of motivation and enjoyment, lack of confidence, time management, family and social commitments and lack of support). This study highlights creative ways that health promotion in the Pacific Island region can encourage physical activity and informs health promotion literature regarding the importance of placing local culture at the heart of behaviour change initiatives.

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