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22 February 2006Media Statement

22 February 2006

Best and brightest awarded scholarship

Education Minister Steve Maharey today congratulated New Zealand's best and brightest students for their achievement in reaching the scholarship standard.

More than 1,800 students will receive scholarship awards this year, worth more than $3 million over the next three years.

"Students should feel extremely proud of their achievements," Steve Maharey said. "These are tough exams which test the most able students.

"This year a significant number of students have achieved outstanding results, including many who were awarded scholarship across a number of subjects.

"Scholarship is about encouraging our most promising students to aim high and then recognising and rewarding their achievements. These results are evidence of both the determination and the talent among Kiwi students."

Steve Maharey called on National's Education spokesman Bill English to join him in congratulating scholarship recipients.

"Mr English has tried to undermine confidence in the assessment system every step of the way. This is an opportunity for him to make a fresh start and show his support for New Zealand's top students."

Steve Maharey said he had confidence in the exam process run by NZQA and the advice provided by the Scholarship Technical Advisory Group, which was appointed to oversee the awarding of scholarship.

"Students can be reassured that the process for setting and marking their scholarship exams was robust and that the results accurately reflect their outstanding achievements.

"NZQA has worked extremely hard to get it right for students across all secondary exams and the work they have done on scholarship is no exception."

Results will be mailed out today and available on the secure learner logon on www.nzqa.govt.nz from 3pm tomorrow.

ENDS

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