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Students are reminded that having their personal and financial affairs in order to undertake the full course of study is a condition of acceptance into the medical programme.

They are also reminded that the MB ChB is a contact-intensive programme that does not leave much time for part-time work, which is not recommended.

Student allowances and loans

Most MB ChB students will be eligible for student allowance and/or student loans. These are administered by Study Link, independently of the University. Prospective students should familiarise themselves with the options and criteria for Study Link support.

Study Link

Trainee Intern allowance

A training grant from Vote Education (administered by the University of Otago) is payable to sixth year students who have permanent residency in New Zealand and are in good standing with the University. This is not taxed, but disqualifies recipients from receiving Student Allowance. Students are advised to check their eligibility for the various grants to ensure the best support options.

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Options for students who exceed their 8 EFTS

StudyLink has a lifetime limit of funding for 8 EFTS. This allows for a three-year undergraduate degree and the five years of the MB ChB but is exceeded by any extra years of study, for instance honours years. Domestic medical students who will exceed 8 EFTS in completing an MB ChB may apply for a special 8 EFTS loan of up to NZ$10,000 per year (maximum two years). The student must supply evidence of EFTS.

The loan contract requires a guarantor. The loan is paid to the student's fees account in the first instance, with a repayment date typically one year after graduation.

Applications should be submitted directly to the Manager, Otago Medical School:

bruce.smith@otago.ac.nz for consideration by the Dean, Otago Medical School.

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Scholarships

While MB ChB students are eligible for general scholarships offered and administered by the University, MB ChB students may also be eligible for one or more of the many scholarships specifically for medical students. Each scholarship has its own criteria, which may be merit and hardship or a combination.

University of Otago undergraduate scholarships
Scholarships for medical students
Health Workforce New Zealand scholarships for Māori
Pacific Health Scholarships

Summer research scholarships

MB ChB students are encouraged to consider spending their summer break undertaking a research project under the direction of a Health Sciences staff member. These scholarship are worth $5000 and provide a valuable opportunity to gain research experience.

Summer research scholarships (also sometimes called summer studentships) are adminstered at School/Departmental level and broadly overseen by the Division of Health Sciences, and may be undertaken through any campus.

Dunedin studentships
Christchurch studentships
Wellington studentships
Health Research Council Māori and Pacific Summer Scholarships

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Hardship support for medical students

Hardship scholarship applicants who are unsuccessful in gaining a scholarship may be considered for an Otago Medical School hardship grant. A budget of up to NZ$20,000 per year is available to each of ELM, DSM, UOC, and UOW.

The funds are to be used for hardship only, and not to support participation in educational activities, such as conferences. (These are adminstered separately, see below.) There is no specific limit for each successful applicant; applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applications should be made by email to the relevant campus Student Affairs office for discussion by the Associate Deans (Student Affairs) (ADSA) Group to provide consistency with responses to applications. ADSA Group discussions will be administered by the Manager, Student Affairs; and then forwarded to the Manager, Otago Medical School; for approval by the Dean of Otago Medical School.

Contacts:

carol.milnes@otago.ac.nz (Christchurch)
dsm.studentaffairs@otago.ac.nz (Dunedin)
ann.thornton@otago.ac.nz (Wellington)

Other options

Students experiencing unexpected financial difficulties may be eligible for help from other avenues. The most comprehensive list of these is compiled by the OUSA; there is also an OUMSA emergency grant.

OUSA hardship fund
OUMSA emergency grant

Loans to medical students

Loans of between NZ$1,000 and NZ$10,000 are available to students whose financial needs are affecting their ability to complete the course. 

Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The loan contract requires a guarantor. The loan is paid to the student's fees account in the first instance, with a repayment date typically one year after graduation.

Please apply by email to:

carol.milnes@otago.ac.nz (Christchurch)
dsm.studentaffairs@otago.ac.nz (Dunedin)
ann.thornton@otago.ac.nz (Wellington)

Applications will be discussed by the Associate Deans (Student Affairs) (ADSA) Group to provide consistency with responses to applications. ADSA Group discussions will be administered by the Manager, Student Affairs; and then forwarded to the Manager, Otago Medical School; for approval by the Dean of Otago Medical School.

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Educational development - conferences / meetings

Otago Medical School, in consultation with the medical students associatons, provides financial support / sponsorship for national NZMSA student conferences. This direct funding to the event organisers reduces attendance costs for Otago students. Individual students may also apply for financial assistance to attend Australasian medical leadership and education conferences and meetings (AMSA, MSGA and some others).

Requests should be submitted to the Manager, Otago Medical School, otagomedicalschool@otago.ac.nz.

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