The University of Newcastle, Australia

Textbook donation helps Samoan students reach their potential

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Undergraduate students from the University of Newcastle’s (UON) business program have donated $10,000 worth of much-needed textbooks to business students at the National University of Samoa (NUS).

Business student Daniel Pilipczyk and senior lecturer Dr Michael Seamer from the Newcastle Business School

The donation comes after UON Senior Lecturer Dr Michael Seamer led a group of ten undergraduate business students on an immersion tour to Samoa in September 2015, which brought to light the limitations students were facing with outdated or lack-of resources.

“Having current textbooks is vital in the study of business. Just to put their need into context, when we looked at the library, the accounting textbooks students had access to were several versions behind, and taxation reference books were from 2002.

“A lot of the principals have changed, so essentially they were behind in their learning. After our visit, we decided we wanted to step in and lend a hand,” Dr Seamer said.

On their return, the group began collecting textbooks to send to NUS, resulting in more than 100 books totaling 11 boxes. The boxes were recently delivered to Samoa, where they were graciously received by staff at NUS.

Dean of NUS’ Faculty of Business and Entrepreneurship, Seve Tuipe’a Aloimaina Folototo Seve, said the contribution had greatly improved the library’s range of textbooks available to students.

“The textbooks are valuable resources because many of them are new and up-to-date editions that are used by the lecturers to teach students. Hence, their arrival is timely in that they improve the resources available for students.

“This is the start of a close relationship between faculties of both institutions,” he said.

Dr Seamer indicated another round of government funding had been proposed to take a group of students on an immersion tour in 2017, as well as a memorandum of understanding planned for UON and NUS.

The UON trip in September 2015 was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The undergraduate Newcastle Business School students were led on an immersion study tour to Samoa, through a New Colombo Project grant.

The students and staff visited a number of businesses in Samoa and gained a valuable insight into the opportunities and challenges of doing business with our developing economy neighbours in the Pacific.

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