Health & Wellbeing

Building health system capability in Samoa

Growing Our Own

Improving population health is hugely important to the development of any society, but particularly challenging for developing countries with limited resources and widely-spread populations. 

In Samoa, the government was facing a shortage of qualified lecturers to teach at the National University of Samoa's (NUS) School of Nursing—which was impacting on the country's ability to teach and train enough highly skilled nurses to deliver the best health system for its people. 

To help solve this problem, Wellington UniVentures and Victoria University of Wellington academics connected with NUS to develop post-graduate courses in Nursing, Midwifery and Health which are delivered in Samoa. The partnership and resulting bespoke solution give nurses, midwives and other health professionals access to study that enables them to identify research issues and develop solutions relevant to Samoa and its people. The partnership goes beyond just the qualifications, building NUS capability and capacity so that they can supervise their own post-graduate research and teaching.



At a glance

Right expertise

New Zealand’s journey to health and wellbeing for all offers a unique learning opportunity for other governments seeking ways to improve their own health systems. Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Health delivers innovation in health teaching and research across a wide range of specialist schools.

Tailored to suit

By taking the time to identify and understand the challenges faced by NUS, a bespoke solution was able to be tailored to not only meet the needs of the educational institute and Samoa's primary healthcare system, but also the scholars themselves.

Culturally sensitive and relevant

With the initiative named 'growing our own' it was important throughout to ensure that the programme was undertaken by Samoans in Samoa on Samoan issues – fa’a Samoa.

In more detail

As a small country with a geographically-dispersed population and a limited budget, New Zealand has successfully faced some of the same problems that developing countries face today.

New Zealand’s journey to health and wellbeing offers a unique learning opportunity for governments in other countries—such as Samoa—who are seeking ways to improve their own health systems through education. 

Wellington UniVentures facilitates that learning by taking the expertise and research from Victoria University of Wellington's Faculty of Health—and combining that with the University's strengths in public policy, government and business—to provide unique insights into New Zealand’s health system that can be used to inform policies and programmes in other countries. 

Samoa's bespoke programme, which was tailored to meet the exact needs of its health system, involved:

  • Understanding workforce planning and cultural context;
  • Delivering post-graduate qualifications to key NUS academic staff by distance learning;
  • Providing in-country research schools;
  • Providing in-country English language training; and
  • Supporting NUS to build a post-graduate nursing school to facilitate the future delivery of post-graduate qualifications and research in Samoa.


For more information, get in touch with our Commercialisation Manager below.

Andrew Cameron
Andrew Cameron

Business Development Manager

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