USP TO CONCENTRATE ON POST GRADUATE WORK

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APIA, Samoa (September 5, 2000 - Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat)---In an effort to concentrate more on post graduate education, the University of the South Pacific in Suva is encouraging member countries to cater to undergraduates at their own island campuses.

Samoa is one member country that has a USP campus -- at Alafua -- and it also supports the development of its own University of Samoa.

Samoa Education Minister Fiame Naomi Mata‘afa said, "They are looking more into post graduate (programs) on the main campus while looking at national institutions to take up the undergraduate level."

He also is concerned about the safety of Samoan students in Fiji.

"The security situation in Fiji is our prime concern. "We need to look at options," Mata‘afa said. "With the crisis in Fiji, the region needs to look at diversifying venues."

The move would allow Samoan students to stay home instead of going to Fiji for education.

The Samoan government decided not to send Samoan students back to Fiji for another semester due to the political crisis in that country following the May 19 coup.

Mata‘afa also said that a limited number of scholarships prevent many Samoan students from studying abroad.

In addition, many students have problems adjusting socially overseas and would do better academically by studying at home, he added.

For additional reports from Radio Australia/Pacific Beat, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia/Pacific Beat.

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