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The University of Otago Fofoa Accommodation Award

Value NZ$7,000 minimum towards accommodation in a University Flat
Number offered Up to 18
Opening date 17 October 2022
Closing date 18 November 2022


Fofoa” in Polynesian languages means to nurture and incubate. The University of Otago Fofoa Accommodation Award aims to “incubate” academic and culturally congruent learning pathways for indigenous Pacific first-year students; to help them transition from school and home to studying at university and living away from home.

General eligibility criteria

Applications are normally open to students who;

  • Are New Zealand citizens, New Zealand permanent residents, Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents with domestic fee status;


  • Are intending to enrol or have enrolled for the first time for first-year (100-level papers) full-time degree-level, undergraduate study at the University of Otago.


Those who have studied more than 0.4 EFTs at any University or tertiary institution at degree-level or higher are not normally eligible.

Specific eligibility criteria

In addition to the above eligibility criteria, applicants must have:

  • Achieved NCEA Level 2 endorsed with merit, or equivalent.
  • Indigenous Pacific Islands ancestry. You will be required to verify your ancestry and more information on this process can be found here:
  • Engaged or connected with the University of Otago e.g. Pacific Islands Centre, Schools’ Liaison, Pacific Community Engagement, etc.
  • Financial need and life/personal circumstances which present barriers to studying at the University of Otago.

Application process

Every applicant must:

  • Submit a separation application for University Accommodation;
  • Complete and submit a Fofoa Award application form, including the brief essay (500 words maximum), by the specified closing date;
  • Provide a copy of their current NZQA Record of Achievement showing their NCEA results, or equivalent, to date.
  • Arrange for a referee* to provide a confidential reference in support of their application.
    * the referee should be a teacher, community or church leader, etc. and not a family member.

Selection of recipients

The selection panel consisting of a representative of the Pacific Islands Centre, the Deputy Warden of UniFlats, and the Associate Deans Pacific for Commerce, Health Sciences, Humanities and Sciences, or their nominees, shall consider the following factors in awarding the scholarships:

  • Academic ability; disciplines or subjects relevant to their proposed programme of study at University may be assessed (a minimum of NCEA Level 2 awarded with merit, or equivalent, is normally required for consideration).
  • Financial need.
  • The life circumstances which present significant barriers to studying at university.
  • Potential and motivation to succeed at university.

Scholarship detail

The following information applies to this scholarship, subject to the specific provisions of the offer letter for the recipient:

  • Standard minimum value of NZ$7,000 for one year as a contribution towards the provided accommodation in UniFlats for 48 weeks.
  • Recipients are required to make satisfactory academic progress throughout the year to continue to receive the Fofoa Accommodation Award. Continuation of the award in semester two requires passing all semester one papers.
  • Recipients are expected to attend all appropriate lectures and tutorials as well as any arranged academic and pastoral support sessions organised by the Pacific Islands Centre to maintain eligibility for this award. If a student is not engaging appropriately, they may forfeit their award entitlement either in part or in full.
  • The Fofoa Accommodation Award may be held in conjunction alongside an Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship.