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New PhD students are “brain gain” for New Zealand

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister for Tertiary Education

22 March 2006 Media Statement
New PhD students are “brain gain” for New Zealand

Forty international post-graduate students have been awarded scholarships for university study in New Zealand this year, Minister for Tertiary Education Dr Michael Cullen announced today.

“The combined talent of these 40 exceptional doctoral students will be a real ‘brain gain’ for New Zealand,” Dr Cullen said.

“These top students will bring benefits to the eight New Zealand universities they will attend and their work will inspire and influence many other students. There will also be spin-offs from the downstream application of their research.”

The students from fifteen countries including China, India, Finland, Canada, Turkey and United States will be studying a range of specialities. These include engineering, commerce, agricultural science, veterinary studies, arts, geography, anthropology, environmental policy, linguistics, and geosciences. They are being funded under the New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships programme.

The students for this current round of scholarships were selected by an academic panel administered by the Education New Zealand Trust. They will start their studies throughout 2006, following in the footsteps of the first 20 recipients of the New Zealand International Postgraduate Research Scholarship in 2004.

The New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarship programme was announced as part of the $40 million Budget 04 investment in the international education sector. Another 100 doctoral scholars from around the world will be funded from next year.

"It’s very pleasing that there was huge interest in the scholarship scheme – we received applications from 350 students in 70 countries,” Dr Cullen said. “Education New Zealand managed the application and selection process, and the selection panel comprised a specialist team of academics experienced in vetting scholarship proposals.

"These scholarships have significantly raised the profile of New Zealand’s international education sector. Some of the world’s top students are coming here and that reflects enormous credit on our universities and academic leaders, and the international respect in which they are held. The prestige of the New Zealand postgraduate environment will be enhanced internationally,” Dr Cullen said.

The students offered the scholarships will receive funding for three years for PhD study and have applied to attend the following institutions:

Auckland University 9
Auckland University of Technology 1
Waikato University 4
Massey University 3
Victoria University 7
Canterbury University 5
Lincoln University 5
Otago University 6

For information on the students and their research projects:

For information about the scholarship programmes:



The 40 NZ International Doctoral Research Scholarships are part of a government programme of scholarships for international undergraduate and doctoral studies rolling out progressively over 2005-2007 which will have a total annual funding of $4.5 million.

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