Planning to study in New Zealand? Here are 4 scholarships for international students

Scholarships to study at universities in New Zealand
New Zealand plans to start admitting international students in mid-2022, with full in-person classes expected to resume in 2023. Source: Gilles Martin-Raget/AFP

Known for its majestic landscapes and beautiful coastlines, New Zealand has more to offer than its abundant nature. The universities in New Zealand are known for their world-class teaching and research, and four of them are listed among the top 100 universities in the world in the Times Higher Education’s 2021 Impact Rankings. 

Although the country kept its international borders closed throughout the pandemic, the government has announced that 5,000 students would begin re-entry beginning in mid-2022 under a border exception, with regular visa processing resumed in October. On-campus study at universities in New Zealand will likely resume in 2023, which gives you ample time to start preparing your scholarship, visa, and university applications. 

If the country is an option in your study abroad list, here are several scholarships available for international students: 

List of international scholarships for universities in New Zealand

Manaaki New Zealand Government Scholarships

Arguably the most coveted award for international students, the Manaaki New Zealand Government Scholarship consists of several scholarship programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in addition to scholarships for short-term study that are fully funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). 

The scholarships are intended to advance the skills and knowledge of successful candidates for capacity-building so they may contribute to the sustainable development of key areas in their home country. Priority is given towards students applying for MFAT-recommended subjects based on their country. Awardees are expected to return to their home country after graduation so they can contribute to its socio-economic development.  

Scholarships for universities in New Zealand

Recipients of the Manaaki scholarships are expected to return to their home country after graduation to contribute towards socio-economic development. Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

The undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships are usually open to all foreign nationals, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is only available for Pacific nationals for the 2022 academic year.  

In terms of eligibility, you must be at least 18 years old once the scholarship takes effect. You need to also fulfil the criteria for a New Zealand study visa, and meet New Zealand’s health and COVID-19 vaccination requirements. You need to have resided in your home country for at least two years prior to application. Awardees are expected to return to their home country after graduation so they can contribute to its socio-economic development. 

For a full description of the eligibility criteria, click here

The University of Waikato International Excellence Scholarship 

The University of Waikato International Excellence Scholarship has a value of up to NZ$20,000 towards tuition fees for candidates who demonstrate exceptional academic ability, allowing them to study in one of the top-ranked universities in New Zealand. 

For the 2022 academic session, the scholarship is not available for those who will be commencing their studies online, with the exception of students who are enrolling at the University’s China Learning Centres (CLCs). However, the scholarship is open to international applicants who are already in the country and are new to studying at the university on-campus starting in 2022.

There is a silver lining though — all new incoming foreign students will be awarded a 20% discount on their tuition fees and travel grants once borders have reopened, after which they can transfer for in-person studies.

The Tongarewa Scholarship at the Victoria University of Wellington

This competitive scholarship is open to first-year undergraduates and those entering a postgraduate degree programme at the university. The partial-fee based scholarship goes towards tuition fees for one year of study. 

Scholarship recipients are guaranteed a spot in the Halls of Residence if an accommodation request is submitted to University Accommodation Wellington before the deadline. Applicants must be paying full tuition fees, and entering their first year of an undergraduate degree or entering a postgraduate degree to be eligible for the award. 

For more information, visit the university’s website to begin your application process.

The University of Auckland International Student Excellence Scholarship 

Scholarships for universities in New Zealand

The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest research organisation, and is ranked ninth globally in the Times Higher Education’s 2021 Impact Rankings. Source: Dean Treml/AFP

The University of Auckland is one of the most popular universities in New Zealand that is listed among the top 100 universities in the world. Its International Student Excellence Scholarship awards up to 50 incoming undergraduate and postgraduate students bi-annually, with the scholarship valued at up to NZ$10,000 that goes towards compulsory tuition fees. 

Applications typically open approximately six weeks before the deadline, depending on your semester intake. International students, or English Language Academy (ELA) students who have received a conditional offer to the university are eligible for the consideration for the scholarship. Those who are already studying at the university are not eligible for consideration.