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National: University of Canterbury offering hundreds of "free-degree" scholarships to school-leavers in the South Island

1:32 pm on 22 June 2022

By Sam Ashton  

The University of Canterbury is awarding 300 "free-degree" scholarships to school-leavers from low-decile schools in the South Island.

The Te Kakau a Māui scholarships mark the University's 150th anniversary next year. 

Executive Director of Māori, Pacific, and Equity, Sacha McMeeking, says the initiative is in line with the Government's plans to focus on equity in education, with a new equity index being introduced next year, replacing the decile system.

"Our wider vision is to close the equity gap in participation, retention, and success rates between currently under-served ākonga and the general university population."

Over 80% of scholarship recipients currently come from high-decile schools. 

"We want to inspire those students who may not have considered university as an option, who may be the first in their whānau to enrol, by covering their entire undergraduate degree course fees," McMeeking said.

The scholarships will cover fees for 150 students from decile one to seven schools in 2023 and an additional 150 students in 2024. 

Applications for the 2023 scholarship close on 15 August. 

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.