Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

University of Otago Māori and Pacific Peoples' Entrance Scholarships

Students studying on the grass
Value Standard value is $10,000 for one year (exceptional applicants may be offered this scholarship at a higher value and at a longer tenure)
Number Offered Varies
Opening date 1 July
Closing date 15 August


Established by the University of Otago in 2005 to celebrate academic excellence and cultural diversity, these scholarships are intended to encourage the progression of Māori and indigenous Pacific Peoples' into tertiary study.

Applicants must:

  • have completed Year 12 and have completed, or are in the process of completing, Year 13 at a New Zealand school
  • be intending to enrol, or are enrolled for full time study at the University of Otago for the first time in the year following the closing date
  • submit, during the application process, a typed essay/statement of no more than 500 words describing:

     a) your (the applicant’s) involvement with the Māori and/or Pacific Peoples’ communities; and   

     b) the benefit that will be gained from being awarded a Māori and Pacific Peoples’ Scholarship.

     c) make sure your name, University of Otago Student Identification Number, the Scholarship name and the date is on your submitted/uploaded essay/statement.

  • pre-arrange a referee from the senior leadership team at the applicant’s school who is able to comment on the applicant’s eligibility and suitability for the scholarship (contact information - name, email address and phone number - for this referee will be required during the application process)
  • pre-arrange a referee from an appropriate community member who is able to comment on the applicant’s eligibility and suitability for the scholarship (contact information - name, email address and phone number - for this referee will be required during the application process)
  • be of Māori descent and/or have indigenous Pacific Island ancestry (evidence of eligibility is required).
  • The eligibility forms will be available here when applications open on 1 July.  (you will be asked to upload this form or an Iwi Registration form, or birth certificate showing your ancestral links during the online process).
  • You may provide evidence of eligibility for both if you whakapapa Māori and have indigenous Pacific ancestry.

You are likely to find the Frequently Asked Questions helpful and we recommend that you read them before starting your application, particularly for information about referees.

Selection of recipients

The Selection Committee shall consist of the Director, Māori Development, in the chair, a member of the Scholarships Committee, the Director, Pacific Development, the Dean of Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, and the Managers of the Māori Centre and the Pacific Islands Centre, and the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships, or their nominees. The selection committee shall consider the following factors in recommending the awarding of the scholarships:

  • Academic ability (NCEA Level 2 with an overall merit commendation, or equivalent, is recommended for these scholarships)
  • Demonstrated involvement in the applicant’s community
  • Potential and motivation to succeed at University
  • In making an award, the Committee may also give consideration to the circumstances of the applicant, and the quality of the supporting essay provided.

Scholarship value and tenure

  1. Standard value of $10,000 for first year and one year tenure.
  2. For exceptional candidates, this scholarship can be awarded at a higher value, and for up to three years.
  3. Tenure in years two and three requires a GPA of 5.0 or better (B) for the previous year.
  4. The University of Otago Dux Scholarship may be held concurrently at the value of $2,000 when this scholarship is held at the standard value of $10,000.

How to apply for this scholarship

  • You must go through the first stages of enrolment at the University of Otago to access the scholarship application process. Apply for enrolment at the University of Otago now. My scholarships and awards portal picture Entrance
  • If you have already created your portal, you will see a "My Scholarships and awards" section, on the lower left of the Home screen. 
  • To apply for Entrance Scholarships, or to continue your applications, click the "Apply now" button. 
  • Apply for every scholarship that you wish to apply for, including the University of Otago New Frontiers Entrance Scholarship, before you hit the "Submit Application" button at the end of the Entrance Scholarship Application process. You may save your applications part way through.

  • Applications for this scholarship will close at midnight on 15 August.
  • Make sure you have hit the "Submit Application" button by then. Complete application portal screen adjusted Entrance
  • The Scholarship Terms and Conditions can be found here. Of particular note is that recipients of this University of Otago Entrance Scholarship are guaranteed placement in a Residential College for their first year of study, although the University does not guarantee placement at the recipient’s Residential College preferences.