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University increases value of doctoral scholarships

Flax kete

Thursday, 24 November 2011 8:41am

Earlier this week the University of Otago Council agreed to increase the value of Otago’s doctoral scholarships from $20,000 plus fees to $25,000 plus fees per annum.

The decision will benefit more than 500 postgraduate students including those already holding the scholarships, which are available for up to three years.

The University awards 181 new doctoral scholarships every year to students embarking on study towards PhDs and other doctoral degrees — the highest number of doctoral scholarships awarded by any New Zealand university.

The move will mean the University will fund an extra $2.7million in scholarships from its operating budget.

“Doctoral candidates are incredibly important to the University,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne. “Their work makes a significant contribution to Otago’s research output and overall research quality. A strong doctoral cohort is the hallmark of a research-led University.”

The scholarship increase comes eight years after the last adjustment, in 2003, when the stipend component of the scholarships was upped from $13,000 per annum to $20,000. The scholarships also cover a candidate’s tuition fees, which have increased year-on-year.

The news was applauded by current holders of Otago doctoral scholarships.

“These scholarships will help Otago to continue to attract young researchers from both around the world and New Zealand,” said OUSA Postgraduate Representative Thomas Köntges. “It is also great that current scholarship holders are included in the increase, so they can focus on their research and on finishing their degrees. We are very happy and thankful.”

Otago is the only New Zealand university which accepts scholarship applications for doctoral students at any point during the year. It funds up to 543 doctoral scholarships at any one time – around half of its current doctoral student cohort.

For further information, contact

Dr Charles Tustin
Director, Graduate Research Services
Tel 64 3 479 9779
Email charles.tustin@otago.ac.nz

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