Toloa Programmes

The Tertiary Education Strategy 2015-2019 set a target to prioritise getting industries the skills they needed.  This included the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce. Pacific People are under-represented in STEM related Tertiary courses and career pathways. 

What is the 2016-2020 Toloa Programme?

The Toloa Programme encourages Pacific students to pursue studies in STEM subjects, with the aim of increasing the number of Pacific peoples employed in STEM careers.  To reach key Pacific audiences simultaneously, the Toloa Programme delivers to three key strands:

1. Toloa Tertiary Scholarships ($200k) for Pacific scholars pursuing STEM related study

2. Toloa Kenese Club ($10k) for Post Primary Pacific students to increase awareness and influence students into STEM study options early on

3.  Toloa Community Fund ($40k) for Community Groups promoting and delivering STEM activities to our key Pacific influencer groups (parents, family, religious minister etc)

What is the aim of the Toloa Programme?

 The Toloa Programme aims to increase the:

 · level of awareness about STEM amongst the Pacific communities; 

 · number of Pacific people studying STEM subjects 

 · number of Pacific people moving into STEM related careers

 What is STEM?

 STEM is an internationally recognised acronym that refers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics areas of learning. 

What are some examples of STEM careers and what are their entry level salaries?

 Innovation is essential for a successful and productive economy. To help achieve this, we need more skilled people with creative and problem solving skills, and more people study STEM subjects.

 Many STEM occupations have high projections for future growth in New Zealand. These include information technology professionals, engineers, technicians, and natural and physical science professionals.

What are some examples of STEM fields of study?

STEM includes a huge array of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths related subjects. This includes:


  • food science and technology
  • biology
  • biophysics
  • molecular biochemistry
  • botany
  • molecular biology
  • microbiology
  • chemistry


  • computer programming
  • computer science
  • digital communication and media/multimedia
  • animation
  • interactive technology
  • video graphics and special effects


  • engineering
  • bioengineering
  • chemical engineering
  • civil engineering
  • automotive engineering


  • applied mathematics
  • statistics
  • physical sciences
  • physics

This is by no means a comprehensive list!

Why focus on STEM?

Information technology professionals, engineers, technicians, natural and physical science professionals are part of the STEM industries and associated occupations that have high projections for future growth in New Zealand.  These are areas of high job and wealth growth for New Zealand both now and in the future with a higher than median starting wage outlined below (Source: Stats NZ): 

Average Median Income for Graduates


Under Grad

Post Grad

Engineering and IT






Nature and Sciences



Architecture and Building



Average graduate