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Computer Science Scholarship Entrants Outstanding

Fri, 12 Nov 2004

Computer Science Scholarship Entrants 'Outstanding'

For the first time in the eight-year history of the Waikato University Computer Science Scholarship exams, eleven secondary school students have been offered full scholarships.

As scholarship winners, the students will have their first year's computer science fees paid – a saving of around $4000 each. They will also be eligible to take more advanced papers than would normally be available in their first year.

Dean of the School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (SCMS) Professor Mark Apperley says the number of full scholarships offered is usually capped at ten or less.

"This year we have seen an outstanding group of students sit the exam. Their results at the top end of the scale were so close we decided to offer eleven full scholarships instead of ten."

Year 12 and Year 13 students around New Zealand were invited to sit the two-day scholarship exam at their own secondary school. Those in Year 12 who receive a scholarship have the option to defer the award for a year until they start university.

Originally the computer science scholarship was set up because no bursary awards were available for students interested in studying the subject at university. Since then, the programme has become popular amongst high school teachers looking for ways to extend high achieving computing students.

Professor Apperley hopes the scholarship winners will eventually graduate with honours.

"Students on the scholarship scheme become part of an accelerated programme working toward a BCMS, BSc, BE or BCGD degree in one of the computer science streams. They are all obviously bright students, so I hope to see them in three to four years time graduating with honours."

He says that through the scholarship programme, SCMS has an opportunity to harness the great wealth of talent coming through from secondary schools.

"Computer science is an exciting and fast developing area and the department here at Waikato is one of the best in the country – its research and facilities are first class*."

Waikato University Computer Science Scholarships from the 2004 exams have been offered to: Shane Anderson of Strathallan College (Auckland); Nicolas Whiu of Whangarei Boy's High School; Hugo Barnard, Robert MacDonald, Benjamin Gommans, Samuel McIntosh and Kwan Yeor Chin of Hillcrest High School (Hamilton), Samuel Sarjant of Hauraki Plains College (Ngatea), Caillar Woon of Rotorua Boy's High School, Karl Henrikse of Fairfield College (Hamilton), Brook Novak of New Plymouth Boy's High School.

*In the official Performance Based Research Fund assessment results published this year, the Waikato University department of computer science was ranked first amongst all New Zealand universities for the research achievements of its staff.

ENDS

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