Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


First-in-family scholarship inspires others


7 April 2017

First-in-family scholarship inspires others to see university as a possibility

When you have no family history of university attendance, or come from a community where higher education is not the norm, the challenges of making it ‘across the stage’ are manifold.

This year, 13 remarkable students from South Auckland have started studying towards bachelors degrees at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) as recipients of the third annual Woolf Fisher First-in-Family AUT Scholarship.

They are the first in their immediate families to attend university.

This move into unchartered territory represents a steep learning curve, both for the recipients of the scholarship as well as their families.

First-in-family students affect intergenerational change. Going to university signals a new educational cycle for the wider family – it encourages other family members to view higher education as a possibility.

Laryia Lomitusi, age 18, was recently awarded a Woolf Fisher First-in-Family AUT Scholarship.

The former deputy head girl from Tangaroa College in South Auckland is now working towards a Bachelor of Health Science at AUT.

As the eldest of seven children, she feels it is her responsibility to lead by example.

“My goal is to increase Pacific representation in the health sector. Also, to use the knowledge and skills that I gain to help my community in Otara and those back in Samoa,” says Lomitusi.

For her, the prospect of graduating with minimal debt makes all of the sacrifice and late-night study worthwhile.

The scholarship covers direct study costs for the duration of an undergraduate degree at AUT, with a nominal value of around NZ$20,000.

This year, nine of the 13 scholarship recipients were of Pacific descent.

Preference was given to applicants from South Auckland who demonstrated a commitment to bringing about change in their community.

AUT Vice-Chancellor, Derek McCormack says the University is proud to have partnered with the Woolf Fisher Trust to establish this scholarship.

“We want to encourage young New Zealanders to follow their dreams – to experience success in their chosen field of study and inspire others to attend university,” he says.

“AUT is committed to widening participation in university education and the Woolf Fisher First-in-Family AUT Scholarship is part of that commitment.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Howard Davis: Christopher Marlowe & 'The Tragedy Of Dr. Faustus'

Previous versions of 'The Devil's Pact' can be traced back to the fourth century, Marlowe deviated significantly by depicting his protagonist as unable to burn his books or repent to a merciful God in order to have his contract annulled... More>>


Gold For RNZ: Muslim Post-9/11 Series, Kim Hill Win In New York

The Radio New Zealand podcast series Public Enemy has won a gold award for excellence for its presenter, Mohamed Hassan, at the prestigious New York Festival Radio Awards announced in Manhattan today. RNZ National’s Saturday Morning host, Kim Hill, also received a gold award for Best Radio Personality. More>>

Human Rights Commission: Give Nothing To Racism

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. More>>

Louis Vuitton Series Win: Emirates Team NZ Will Challenge For The America’s Cup

By beating Artemis 5-2 they now take on Oracle Team USA in the America’s Cup match starting next weekend. More>>


Monterey: Rodger Fox Big Band Invited To Celebrated Festival

The Rodger Fox Big Band has received an invitation to perform at the 2017 Monterey 60th Anniversary Jazz Festival in the USA in September of this year. More>>

AntARTica: Scientist’s Painting Discovered In Antarctic Hut

The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust has discovered an almost perfectly preserved 118 year old watercolour painting among penguin-excrement, dust and mould covered papers found in an historic hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland