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International doctoral scholars selected

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister for Tertiary Education

21 October 2008 Media Release
International doctoral scholars selected

Tertiary Education Minister Pete Hodgson announced today that New Zealand will welcome a new batch of 38 international doctoral scholars next year. The scholars have been selected from almost 400 applications received from students in 79 different countries.

Each year New Zealand supports up to 38 international doctoral students to study for a PhD at a New Zealand university under the New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarship programme.

Pete Hodgson said “These scholarships are a winner for New Zealand and for the scholarship students. The students benefit from the wealth of knowledge and expertise held within our tertiary institutions. In turn, New Zealand institutions gain from students sharing the findings of their own research and their experiences gained overseas.”

This year the largest numbers of students selected come from Canada, Germany, India, and the United States, but a wide range of other countries are also represented. Research topics range from studies of the generation of earthquakes on New Zealand’s Alpine fault-line and into intercultural adaptation, to the application of the small-world phenomenon to the routing of messages within large computer networks. The students will take up their 3-year scholarships from January.

Universities say the Doctoral Research Scholarships are a great way to bring international academic talent to New Zealand, and the selection panel noted that the calibre of the applicants this year was even higher than in 2007.

The Scholarships, administered by the Education New Zealand Trust, are one way New Zealand works to further enhance the reputation of its tertiary education system overseas. Other programmes include the policy that allows international PhD students to pay the same fees as New Zealand domestic students.

Pete Hodgson confirmed that these initiatives have been highly successful in driving a rapid rise in enrolments of top scholars at New Zealand's universities. “Enrolments rose from 693 in 2006 to 1,807 by August 2008, an increase of 161%. In 2007 international PhD students enrolled in New Zealand came from 91 countries” he said.

More information on the scholarships is available at Education New Zealand’s website The next round of applications will open in April 2009.


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