The Faculty of Medicine (F.O.M.) at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) has achieved another first for Samoa.
This time, the University has welcomed the first international student to study in Samoa at the programme.
Robert Lilo is from the Solomon Islands and he is joining the nine local students accepted this year. His studies are fully funded by the Solomon Islands government and F.O.M is providing the support he requires for his studies as well as his stay in Samoa.
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, Mr. Lilo is excited.
“I’m honoured to be here. I want to say that Samoa has a very beautiful environment and it’s cleaner than back home,” he said.
“People are really friendly as well. I also want to say that coming to Samoa is a very great opportunity for me to not only learn medicine but also to learn the culture.”
“I hope to learn as much as I can about Samoa. I want to return home when I’m done with many positive stories to attract more people from the Solomon Islands to study here.”
The announcement of Mr. Lilo’s arrival was made during a press conference organised by the N.U.S on Friday.
“Following approval by the N.U.S Senate and Council in 2014, the new medical programmed was officially launched in February 2015 with an intake of seven students comprising of five Samoa government-sponsored students and two privately funded students,” a statement from the University said.
“More than 20 students apply each year and only five scholarships were offered, so in 2016 the University made a request to the Samoa government to increase the number of scholarships to 10 and was approved thanks to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Scholarships Division for the support provided for this proposal.”
Now at its third year of existence, the University and the faculty is celebrating a monumental occasion by welcoming its first international student.
“The University looks forward to attracting more international students from our neighboring Pacific Island countries like Tuvalu, Tokelau, Tonga and Solomon Islands to study medicine in Samoa.”
“The blend of Pacific Island students from different nationalities in the programme would provide a unique opportunity for the students to share and learn from each other’s experience and in doing so enrich their learning and preparation for medical practice in the context of their own countries and the Pacific region.”
“The F.O.M will go through an external evaluation of its medical programme in July this year. This external evaluation will be undertaken to ensure that the N.U.S medical programme meets the quality standards set for medical educations worldwide.”
“N.U.S. endeavours to provide a medical programme that is recognized for its quality and meet global standards for medical; education.”