The University of Otago's Tū Kahika Scholarship is a two-semester (February to October) Health Sciences programme run within University of Otago, Foundation Year Health Sciences Course. Tū Kahika is a one year preparation course that prepares Māori students academically for their first year of tertiary study the and a future career in Māori health.
Tū Kahika students receive guaranteed accommodation in a Residential College, and financial assistance towards tuition fees and accommodation costs.
The University of Otago acknowledges the support for Tū Kahika received from the Ministry of Health and the Tertiary Education Commission.
What does 'Tū Kahika' mean?
The name Tū Kahika comes from a southern variation on the name of the kahikatea tree, which grows well with the support of others around it.
Entry criteria for Tū Kahika
Successful applicants must:
- Have Māori whakapapa
- Show a commitment to Māori health and Māori development
- Be in Year 13 year of study (or be a very recent school leaver)
- Show a commitment to pursue Health Sciences study and a career in health (a strong science and math background up to Year 13 is preferred)
- Stay in a residential college (either Arana or Studholme) during their first year of study
Application process for Tū Kahika
Students must submit both the online Tū Kahika application and a residential college application to be considered for the programme.
Interviews for Tū Kahika
Selected Tū Kahika applicants are interviewed with their whānau in their home region by Tū Kahika staff. The interview is an opportunity for students and whānau to meet programme staff, learn more about the programme, and have their questions answered.
Students will be notified shortly after their interview if they have been accepted into the Tū Kahika programme.
Tū Kahika is an award that supports young Māori students interested in a career in health, into and through the University of Otago’s Foundation Year Health Sciences course and beyond.
Tū Kahika prepares students for further study in Health Sciences (particularly Health Sciences First Year) by providing wrap-around academic, cultural, pastoral and financial support over the year.
Tū Kahika students receive:
- Automatic enrolment into the University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year, Health Sciences course.
- Guaranteed accommodation in a University of Otago Residential College (either Studholme College or Arana College)
- $10,000 towards Residential College costs
- Additional tutorials and academic assistance
- A dedicated Kaiārahi (support person) to assist with orientation through university
- A strong support network of Māori staff and students
- Professional and cultural development (knowledge of health career pathways & options)
- University study skills, exam preparation and time management techniques
- Academic preparedness for further tertiary study in Health Sciences, in particular Health Science First Year (HSFY)
Tū Kahika students are provided a Kaiārahi (Student Coordinator) to guide them into and through the Tū Kahika programme.
- Meets and welcomes all new Tū Kahika students the moment they arrive to Dunedin
- Coordinates extra tutorials for students (particularly in Physics and Chemistry)
- Provides knowledge about future study options and career pathways in health
- Organises extra (fun) activities for Tū Kahika students
- Provides academic, personal, and social support and mentoring over the year
Tū Kahika students participate in lectures, labs, and tutorials alongside other Foundation Year students and recieve lots of assistance from Foundation Year staff.
Tū Kahika students also recieve additional academic support:
- Tutorials at Te Huka Matauraka/the Māori Centre
- Residential college tutorials
- Time management, goal setting, exam preparation, and university study skills workshops
All Tū Kahika students have guaranteed (and subsidised) accommodation in an Otago University Residential College, either Studholme College or Arana College.
Both colleges are located within walking distance of the campus and each has its own unique culture, extra tutorials, and fantastic food!
All Tū Kahika students are provided $10,000 dollars towards their guaranteed accommodation at either Studholme College or Arana College.
Fees are covered by the Tertiary Education Commissions' Free Fees Scheme - If students are eligible. To check eligibility for the Free Fees Scheme, visit https://www.feesfree.govt.nz
Professional and cultural development
Tū Kahika students are provided additional professional and cultural development as part of the Tū Kahika programme.
Students have the opportunity to learn more about Health Sciences degree options and careers in health. Students also have the opportunity to gain a more hands on understanding of a variety of health career options, and meet Māori health professionals working in these fields.
Some Te reo Māori me ōna tikanga is also woven through the programme.
With guaranteed accommodation, a dedicated support person and added academic assistance, Tū Kahika students are provided wrap-around support to achieve their goals of becoming a health professional.
All Tū Kahika students study the Foundation Year Health Sciences course and participate in lectures, labs and tutorials on the Otago University campus.
Preparation for Health Sciences courses
This course of study better prepares students for success in the University of Otago’s Health Science First Year (HSFY) or other Health Sciences degree study at university or polytechnic the year following Tū Kahika.
Stunning learning facilities and small class sizes ensure individual learning support and assistance in a comfortable modern environment.
Visit the Foundation Year website for more information about the Health Sciences course. Students study:
- Academic English I
- Academic English II
- Chemistry - Structure and Bonding
- Chemistry - Reactivity
- Human Biology
- Mathematics for Science
- Physics - Mechanics, Electricity and Waves
- Physics - Thermodynamics and Modern Physics
Tū Kahika students follow the Foundation Year Health Science stream dates consisting of two 14-week terms including exams.
Term 1 runs from late February through to the beginning of June each year with a mid-term break in April. Term 2 commences at the end of June and finishes at the beginning of October with a mid-term break in August.
Health Sciences First Year (HSFY)
Successful completion of Tū Kahika, to the required standard, guarantees you admission to the University of Otago Health Sciences First Year (HSFY). On the successful completion of HSFY, you may apply for entry into the following professional programmes:
Entry to these professional programmes is competitive and is based on the grades achieved in Health Sciences First Year.
During Health Sciences First Year, you may be eligible for additional support via the Socioeconmic Equity (EQ) Project.
Other academic paths
Following Tū Kahika you may choose to apply directly for admission to:
Contact Tū Kahika
If you have any queries about the Tū Kahika programme or the application process, please contact the Programme Coordinator, Sam Feeney:
Contact the University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year
If you have any queries about the University of Otago Language Centre and Foundation Year, please contact:
Contact the University colleges and accommodation
For information about University-managed colleges and accommodation application process, please contact the Student Accommodation Centre: