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New Mâori and Pacific Island Scholarships

Wednesday 19 October 2005

New Mâori and Pacific Island Scholarships Announced

The University of Otago is offering new scholarships to promising Mâori and Pacific Islands secondary school students to encourage them to take up university study at Otago, Vice-Chancellor Professor David Skegg announced today.

Up to 30 scholarships worth $10,000 each are available for 2006 covering accommodation in a residential college or hall and/or tuition fees for the recipients’ first year of study, says Professor Skegg.

“This initiative forms part of the University’s efforts to help promising Mâori and Pacific Islands students overcome some perceived barriers to their studying away from home, such as cost and distance from family,” says Professor Skegg.

In selecting recipients, the University will consider applicants’ academic performance at secondary school, demonstrated commitment and/or involvement in their communities and their potential and motivation to succeed at university.

As well as being offered the comprehensive pastoral care Otago’s Halls of Residence provide to all their students, they would also be able to draw on the strong networks that exist at Otago to support Mâori and Pacific Islands students, he says.

“Maori and Pacific Islands students find a very warm welcome when they come to Otago with a variety of support services and groups available to them.

“These include the University’s Mâori Centre and its Pacific Islands Centre, which offer a wide range of academic, cultural and social support, including academic mentoring by senior students. There is also a long-standing Mâori Students Association at the University, Te Roopû Mâori.

“Academically, Te Tumu, The University’s School of Mâori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, also provides an important leadership role.

The University of Otago has a long and distinguished history of connection with Mâori and Pacific Islands communities both in New Zealand and overseas. Many leaders of these communities are Otago graduates.”

The scholarships, he added, would help Otago maintain and enhance that proud tradition.

Information about the new University of Otago Mâori and Pacific Islands Entrance Scholarships, which are available to New Zealand citizens or residents, can be found from Thursday 20 October at: http://www.otago.ac.nz/study/scholarships

ENDS

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