Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
ValueStandard value of $6,000, for one year (exceptional applicants may be offered this scholarship at a higher value and a longer tenure)
Number offeredVaries
Opening date1 July
Closing date15 August


Established to encourage excellence in areas of performance including sport, culture, music and the arts. These scholarships are available to academically-able students with demonstrated high-level ability in their chosen area of performance.

Past recipients of this scholarship have represented New Zealand and their regions in sports such as adventure racing, aerobics, alpine ski racing, athletics, badminton, basketball, BMX, cricket, equestrian, football, free-skiing, futsal, gymnastics, hockey, ice hockey, kayaking, mountain biking, netball, road cycling, rowing, rugby league, rugby, sailing, softball, snow boarding, surf life saving, swimming, taekwon-do, touch, volleyball, waka ama, and water-ski racing.

Other recipients have exceptional performance achievements in acting, dance (including ballet, hip hop, jazz), debating, kapa haka, music (including bag piping, cello, clarinet, double bass, drumming, flute, french horn, guitar, oboe, piano, saxophone, Scottish drums, singing, trombone, trumpet, viola, and violin), musical theatre, St John Youth, song writing, speech and drama, and visual arts (including painting, photography, sculpture).

General eligibility criteria

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 normally ineligible.

1.1 Are New Zealand citizens, New Zealand Residence Class Visa Holders, Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents with domestic fee status;


1.2 International students who have studied in 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 general eligibility criteria, applicants must:

  • Be performing at an elite level for their chosen sport or cultural discipline.
  • Have achieved NCEA Level 2 endorsed with merit, or equivalent.

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 Performance and Leadership sections of the application, and it is recommended that the Extra-curricular section is also completed. 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. What you will need to prepare for your application is listed on the scholarship application preparation webpage:

Scholarship application preparation

Selection of recipients

The Selection Panel consisting of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor External Engagement, in the chair, the Head of Music, Theatre Studies and the Performing Arts, the Dean of the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences and the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships, or 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).
  • Demonstrated excellence in the designated area of performance.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability (this may be demonstrated through leadership in school, sporting, cultural and/or community settings).

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 $6,000.
  • Standard tenure is one 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 for the amount specified in your scholarship offer letter, 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).
    University of Otago Residential Colleges
  • For those living in the local community (boarding, flatting or living at home), it will normally comprise of a payment, 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.
  • For exceptional applicants, this scholarship will be awarded at a higher value and a longer tenure.
  • For awards of more than one year, tenure in years two and three normally requires a GPA of 5.0 or better (B) for the previous year.
  • Recipients may request continuation of their scholarship if their GPA is not at the required level by writing to the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships ( asking that the Deputy Vice-Chancellor External Engagement approve continuation of the scholarship into year two or three. 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.
  • If applicable and called on to do so, recipients of the University of Otago Performance Entrance Scholarships shall engage with the relevant University of Otago sporting club and give due consideration to playing for that club in preference to any other. Recipients will also normally represent Otago or its equivalent, in preference to any other region.
  • 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). 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

***You do not have to play the sport or participate in the performance activity you were awarded the scholarship for, however, if you are playing or participating, you must consider the University Club first (if there is one).
This means going along to trials or training and talking to the coach or manager. Please be reasonable and honest in your communication with them about what sort of requirements you have and your aims.

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
Tel +64 3 479 7000 (callers outside New Zealand)
Find us on Facebook

If you have a University of Otago student identification number, please include this in your email.

Back to top