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Applications open for health ed scholarships

Applications open for health education scholarships

Applications have opened for the new Step Up scholarships which are being offered to around 500 students studying health education in 2004.

The new bonded scholarships scheme targets school leavers from low income backgrounds and is being piloted with students intending to study towards degrees in human and animal health. Students who receive a scholarship will pay a flat fee of $2000 a year, irrespective of the tuition fee for their chosen course, with the scholarship paying the remainder of normal tuition fees for that course. It is estimated that a Step Up scholarships would save trainee doctors around $43,000, dentists $36,000, vets $20,000 and nurses $5,500.

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said application information has now been sent to all secondary schools.

“Step Up scholarships have been introduced to ensure that people from low-income backgrounds are not deterred by cost from beginning tertiary study and to help keep skilled graduates in New Zealand.

“To get a Step Up scholarship students must be leaving school this year or have left school with in the last year, and also be eligible for a student allowance. This includes students who are completing an intermediate year this year.

“The scholarships are being piloted in the health sector first because there is clear evidence that students from low income families are deterred by cost. If the scholarships are successful they will be expanded to other key occupations to help address pressing recruitment and retention problems.

“StudyLink is now accepting applications for the Step Up scholarships from students wanting to study in 2004. Applications close on 15 December 2003,” Steve Maharey said.

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