3 Mar 2009

Samoa-based institution vies for accreditation as international medical school

4:36 pm on 3 March 2009

The Samoa-based Oceania University of Medicine is hoping to be fully accredited as an international university by the end of the year.

The university's communications officer, Chris Dudley, says the university, which also offers distance learning programmes to students from the USA and Australia, is already registered with the WHO and is working to gain accreditation through the Philippines.

He says about 90 students are enrolled now and he hopes to boost this number once the school has been accredited.

"We wanted to intentionally keep the size of the student body small to develop the school and make sure it's as good as it can possibly be. And then once we achieve accreditation, we expect to see some new research programmes, some new community health programmes - the school is working with Rotary International in Apia to have health screenings for some of the remote villages throughout Samoa."

Chris Dudley says 25 scholarships are also on offer for Samoans and nationals of other Pacific countries.

A four- year course costs about 130 thousand US dollars.