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ValueStandard value of $15,000 over two years (exceptional applicants may be offered this scholarship at a higher value)
Number OfferedVaries
Opening date1 July
Closing date15 August


Established by the University of Otago in 2005 to celebrate academic excellence and cultural diversity, this scholarship is intended to encourage the progression of indigenous Pacific Peoples into tertiary study.

General eligibility criteria

Application for all Entrance Scholarships are normally open to students who meet the requirements of 1.1 OR 1.2, AND 2. Those who fit within 3 are ineligible.

1.1 Are New Zealand citizens or New Zealand Residence Class Visa Holders;


1.2 International students who have completed Year 12 and/or have completed or are in the process of completing Year 13 at a New Zealand school, or an equivalent foundation level course at a New Zealand tertiary institution.


2 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.


3 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 for this Scholarship

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

  • Of indigenous Pacific Islands ancestry. You will be required to verify your ancestry and more information on this process can be found here:
  • Involved in the Pacific community.

Special awards

Recipients of the Otago Senior Pasifika Excellence Awards will have an entitlement to this scholarship, subject to their meeting the general eligibility requirements and obtaining entrance to the University. The standard value and tenure conditions will apply.

Application process

All applications for Entrance Scholarships are done through eVision, the University's student management system. In order to apply for a scholarship, you will be required to go through the first stages of enrolment at the University of Otago to access the Entrance Scholarship online application.

In the Entrance Scholarship application, it is recommended that to be considered for this scholarship, you should have completed the Pacific section of the application. For more information on the application process, as well as step-by-step instructions, please visit the 'Apply for a scholarship' webpage:

Apply for a scholarship

Before going through the application process, it is important to ensure that you are adequately prepared to begin the application. The things you will need to prepare for your application, including information you will be asked to provide and reference requirements, are listed on the scholarship application preparation webpage:

Scholarship application preparation

Selection of recipients

The Selection Panel shall consist of the Director, Pacific Development, in the chair, a member of the Scholarships and Prizes Committee, the Director, Māori Development, the Dean of Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, the Manager of the Pacific Islands Centre, and the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships, or their nominees. The following factors will be considered in the awarding of the scholarships:

  • Academic ability; disciplines or subjects relevant to their proposed programme of study at University may be assessed (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 information provided.

Scholarship detail

The Scholarship terms and conditions can be found here:

Scholarship terms and conditions

In addition, following information applies to this Scholarship, subject to the specific provisions of the offer letter for the recipient:

  • Standard value of $15,000.
  • Standard tenure is two years.
  • For exceptional applicants, this scholarship will be awarded at a higher value and a longer tenure.
  • Tenure in year two normally requires a GPA of 5.0 or better for the previous year.
  • For those accepting a place in a Residential College as listed at the link below, it will be paid as an accommodation fee waiver of $12,000 in year one, paid directly to your Residential College (the scholarship is not able to be used for payment or part-payment of Residential College placement, deposit, activity or equivalent fees due prior to studying), and $3,000 towards tuition fees for year two.    
  • For those living in the local community (boarding, flatting or living at home), it will normally comprise of $12,000, in year one, firstly towards tuition and student services fees, if applicable, then as a monthly stipend or lump sum, or you may be able to have the value of your scholarship credited against your tuition fees for your second year of study, and $3,000 towards tuition fees for year two.
  • Recipients may request continuation of their scholarship if their GPA is not at the required level by writing to the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships (email asking that the Deputy Vice-Chancellor External Engagement approve continuation of the scholarship into year two. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor External Engagement will consider the following factors when making their decision (and may consider other things):    
    1. A written request received from the student, outlining why they would like some leniency in the GPA requirement. It is recommended that this request is received by 31 January.
    2. Evidence of sport or cultural activity performance and associated commitments, if relevant.
    3. Evidence of medical impairment, if relevant.
  • Please note that, unless an exception is specified, other University of Otago Entrance Scholarships cannot normally be held concurrently with other Entrance Scholarships. The exception to this is the Dux entrance scholarship, which may be held concurrently at the value specified in its regulations.    

*Exceptions to 0.4 EFTS or less are considered when all previous University or tertiary level study has been undertaken whilst concurrently enrolled at secondary school.

**Please note that recipients automatically entitled to this scholarship may, and are encouraged to, apply for the University of Otago Entrance Scholarships using the eVision application system. However, recipients will only be awarded one University of Otago Entrance Scholarship (subject to the Dux Entrance Scholarship provisions above), with a guarantee of the award of the University of Otago Pacific Peoples' Entrance Scholarship valued at $15,000 as a minimum. For those award recipients not applying for other Entrance Scholarships, please enrol at the University of Otago and email your full name, Otago student identification number, and address to

Further information

You are likely to find the Frequently Asked Questions helpful and we recommend that you read them.

To find out more about Entrance Scholarships, please contact us:

Tel 0800 80 80 98 (callers within New Zealand only); or
64 3 479 7000 (callers outside New Zealand)
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If you have a University of Otago student identification number, please include this in your email.

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