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Thursday 23 March 2023 12:16pm

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Alumni Scholarship Recipients

Alex Van Der Vilet_
Alex Van Der Vilet

Donor-funded Entrance Scholarship winners were welcomed at a function in the University's Terrace Lounge in early March. External Engagement Division Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tony Ballantyne said he was very pleased that the students had chosen to study at Otago.

“Each of you come to this university with significant achievements. On behalf of our scholarship donors we look forward to walking beside you on your journey at the University of Otago. We welcome the generous donations, they make a real difference to the University and the wider community of Aotearoa, especially when our graduates enter the workforce,” Professor Ballantyne says.

Development and Alumni Relations Director Shelagh Murray said many of the donors were scholarship recipients themselves at the University and they appreciated the support that scholarships provide.

Sophie Pollock and Jemma Lewin
Sophie Pollock and Jemma Lewin

One of the donors initially provided two scholarships and this year has increased it to five scholarships, which showed an appreciation for the significant benefit scholarships bring.

“The donor said that they received a free education and are in a position to freely give towards the education of others. In 2023 we have offered 50 Alumni Entrance scholarships from our generous benefactors.

“Work hard, commit to doing well, take the time to thank your scholarship provider and please enjoy yourselves here at Otago,” Ms Murray says.

Among the scholarship recipients is Ohn Khing from Myanmar. She is an Alumni Entrance Appeal Scholarship recipient studying Health Science. -She says the scholarship will help greatly towards her studies and the cost of flatting.

Jasper Rainey
Jasper Rainey

From Rotorua, Mehak Walia is also doing first-year Health Science and is flatting this year. She says her Alumni Appeal Entrance Scholarship will help towards the cost of fees.

Jemma Lewin received a Commerce Entrance Scholarship from a pair of anonymous donors. She went to Gisborne Girls' High School and plans to major in Information Science. The scholarship allowed her to come to Dunedin, without it she says she would have stayed in Gisborne and studied there. She is spending her first year at Salmond College.

Sophie Pollock is from Napier and went to Napier Girls' High School. . She received the same Commerce scholarship which will help towards travel and residential college costs. She is staying at Selwyn College and plans to study Finance and Law (BCom/LLB).

Mehak Walia and Ohn Khing (2)
Mehak Walia and Ohn Khing

Alex Van Der Vilet is from Mosgiel, he plans to study Law and Politics (BA/LLB). He has received a Yarrow South Entrance Scholarship. He went to King's High School and his currently living at home, but the scholarship will help towards next year's course costs after having a “fees free” first year.

Jasper Rainey also attended King's High School. He is a 71-73 Alumni Frank Leong Entrance Scholarship winner and is doing his Engineering intermediate. He says that the scholarship will allow him to concentrate on his studies, without the need to support himself as much with paid work.

Karen Pardo Solorzano, who is originally from Columbia, has a Ralph and Eve Seelye Trust Scholarship. She is studying Health Science this year. Karen went to St Peter's College in Palmerston North and is attending Hayward College.

Mamata Kafle and Karen Pardo Solorzano
Mamata Kafle and Karen Pardo Solorzano

She says the scholarship takes a lot of stress off as she is largely funding her own way through university. “It's helping with my accommodation costs so I could afford to go into a hall,” she says. Mamata Kafle is also studying Health Science and is living at St Margaret's College. Originally from Christchurch, the former Papanui College student says the scholarship made it possible for her to come to the University. She has received the 71-73 Alumni Frank Leong Scholarship.
Well done to all our scholarship recipients.

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