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‘NZ Equivalent Of Rhodes Scholarships’



New Waikato University scholarships for high-performing all-rounders are designed to become New Zealand's equivalent of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships for multi-talented students destined to become future leaders.

The Parallel Development Programme (PDP) Scholarships, formally announced at tonight's Waikato University Blues Awards, will be available to students who are academic high achievers and who also excel at either arts or sports.

"I hope these scholarships will come to be recognised as New Zealand's equivalent of the Rhodes Scholarships," says Vice-Chancellor Bryan Gould, a former Rhodes Scholar himself.

"They are a great opportunity for young people who have demonstrated all round ability. These scholarships will support a new generation of leaders by creating pathways for exceptional New Zealanders."

Helping academically able artists and sportspeople to achieve all round excellence will deliver considerable benefits to the students themselves, the university in Hamilton and Tauranga, the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions in particular, and the country in general. "The more we can do to assist these sorts of young people achieve their best the better for everyone concerned," says Professor Gould.

Benefits of the new scheme include:

- More top students studying, playing sport and creating art in Hamilton and the satellite campus in Tauranga, with flow on academic, economic, sporting and cultural benefits for the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. Scholars can also be expected to contribute in the national and international arenas.

- Better quality research by Waikato University students in the longer-term, important for university funding under the Performance-Based Research Fund system.

- A bigger pool of high-performers available to assist in regional economic, sporting and cultural development upon graduation.

- Students from around the country having access to a significant new scheme supporting all round excellence.

"For students achieving both inside and outside of the classroom, this programme will give the academic, artistic and sporting training and support needed to maintain top standards," says Professor Gould.

"Many high achievers fail to reach their full potential because they are forced to focus their efforts at a very early stage - to choose between their study or their sports or artistic interests. Our new PDP will help students to continue delivering all-round excellence."

Waikato University rowing eights captain James Fitzgerald, a current Transatlantic rowing champion, says he's had great support in juggling study and sports commitments at Waikato, but believes the PDP will be a big boost for top sportspeople and artists. "The PDP is an exciting initiative that'll ensure students don't have to go it alone and don't have to choose between their strengths - they will be able to develop and excel at both uni and sport."

As a PDP scholar, students will receive:

- a full-fee scholarship.

- personal academic support.

- coaching/training in their non-academic area of excellence, provided by partner institutions.

- participation in elite development squads where applicable.

- participation in club, regional, national and international competitions.

- free membership of the Uni Rec Centre.

- life skills and personal development coaching.

- a personal development programme for each scholar.

School-leavers will be considered for a PDP Scholarship if they gain:

- University Entrance, and

- 60 credits at level 3 NCEA in no more than 4 approved subjects, and

- at least 14 credits in each subject, and

- are NZ or Australian citizens or permanent residents, and

- have an established record of excellence in sport and recreation, or in performing and creative arts, and

- have proven leadership qualities.

Current university students are eligible to apply if they have a B grade pass average and meet the citizenship, sporting or cultural excellence and leadership criteria.

The selection of scholars will be undertaken by the university, with consultation with partner institutions, such as the appropriate sporting code or cultural body. Partner institutions may also nominate scholars to the university.

To remain in the programme, PDP scholars will be expected to maintain a B grade pass average or better each year and meet a range of other requirements.

The university is currently in the process of finalising the sporting and cultural organisations it will be working with in the PDP Scholarships.


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