29 May 2019, Apia Samoa. Below is a statement from the National University of Samoa regarding a flow of complaints and queries from students and parents due to the exam timetable for the Foundation Programme which schedules all exams within 1 working week, or 5 days with many students having 2 exams in one day.
NUS Response in verbatim:
In January 2019 the National University of Samoa decided to start the Foundation programme two weeks earlier than its normal schedule to allow for the early release of students’ official results.
The University’s academic calendar normally starts in February and this sets the rest of its important dates such as lectures, enrolments, examinations and release of results.
Normally the second semester official results are released in December and this has caused concern in the finalisation of the recipients of overseas awards and their placements in overseas tertiary institutions.
In an effort to alleviate this problem the University, at the behest of the Scholarship Committee, resolved to start Foundation enrolments and lectures 2 weeks earlier than its other programmes and also to have only one week for the Foundation examination period to address this concern. This change would allow for the release of the Foundation students’ official results in November, one month earlier than previous years and would give officials ample time to organise the students’ overseas awards.
The Important Dates for the University is normally confirmed in October of the previous year and by the time the decision was made in January 2019 to change the Foundation Programme’s dates, the University’s Important Dates had already been publicised in its Calendar.
A hard copy of the changes in the dates were given to the students at the time of the January enrolment for the Foundation Programme and the one week examination period is clearly stated, there.
The Foundation Programme is an intensive programme and we are mindful of the challenges students face, given the limited overseas awards available.
Aside from the normal lectures and tutorials, the University also offers additional assistance in literacy, numeracy and counselling at no extra cost. These services plus its “At risk” programme are to identify and counsel students struggling with their studies and/or not attending classes in order to better prepare them for their final examinations.
Even though, the one week examination period may seem very challenging for the students, past experience has demonstrated that students can cope since we have had a one week examination period for our Foundation Programme before and the students were able to handle the pressures this entailed.
Moreover, it is not uncommon for students at university level across the region and globally to have two exams scheduled for the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The University extended its examination period to two weeks when it began offering more programmes at Degree and Diploma level and more examinable courses. However this year we have separated the Foundation Programme from other Certificate, Diploma and Degree programmes to achieve our goals stated above.
The abovementioned reasons regarding the overseas awards necessitated an early start to the Foundation programme and a one week examination period. The University remains focused on its mission to deliver quality education for all citizens and will endeavour to support students in their educational journey.
For more queries please contact the Executive Officer to the Vice Chancellor, Annetta Iakopo on telephone 20072 etx.107 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Malosu’efilemu Angie Alama, Director o f Student Administration on telephone 20072 ext.132 or email email@example.com