FAQs

What is Pacific Island descent?

Pacific applicants are defined as citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand who are of indigenous Pacific descent from any of the following islands: Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji, Rotuma, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Wallis and Futuna, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Rapanui (Easter Island).

Applicants will need to provide evidence of Pacific descent by providing a copy of a current passport or birth certificate.

What is STEM?

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

Why focus on STEM?

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
  • computer programming
  • computer science
  • digital communication and media/multimedia
  • animation
  • interactive technology
  • video graphics and special effects
  • engineering
  • bioengineering
  • biology
  • biophysics
  • molecular biochemistry
  • botany
  • molecular biology
  • microbiology
  • chemical engineering
  • civil engineering
  • automotive engineering
  • applied mathematics
  • statistics
  • physical sciences
  • physics
  • chemistry

This is by no means a comprehensive list!

What are the Toloa Scholarships?

The Toloa Scholarships were established in 2015 and funded by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples. The purpose of the scholarships is to encourage Pacific students pursue studies in STEM subjects at tertiary level and increase the numbers employed in STEM careers.

I want to apply for a Toloa Scholarship, how can I do this?

Applications for the 2017 Toloa Scholarships now closed. Details for 2018's scholarships to be announced shortly.

What are the criteria to apply?

New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Pacific descent can apply. Check out our guidelines and criteria for more details. 

Can I apply for a Scholarship if I'm currently residing overseas?

Sure, you can enter as long as you prove that you are a New Zealand citizen or resident and you meet the guidelines and criteria.

Can I apply if I already hold a Scholarship?

Yes you can. 

Can I apply if I intend to enrol in a health related course or qualification?

No. However the Ministry of Health offer the Aniva Scholarship for those wishing to enrol in health related course or qualification. Visit the Ministry of Health website for details.

Why does the Ministry for Pacific Peoples offer these Scholarships?

These scholarships are designed to motivate, celebrate and inspire Pacific people to study STEM courses and enter a career in STEM. 

If I am successful in my application, how will the Scholarship payments be made?

The Scholarships are capped at $9000 per year (to a maximum value of $25,000) to cover the tuition and compulsory fees for the approved programme of study.

Compulsory fees are those only related to the relevant programme of study, plus Student Services Fee and Building Levy.

Payment of the full scholarship amount will be made directly to the tertiary institution at the beginning of the course of study, and the tertiary institution will manage allocation of the scholarship funds to approved fees. If a recipient transfers to a non-STEM course of study, or withdraws from study altogether, any unused scholarship funds will be returned to the Ministry.

Scholarship funds will not be passed directly to the recipient.

If a student fails some papers, MPP has the opportunity to review their continuation in the programme. If MPP decides to allow the student to continue, total scholarship funding remains capped at $25,000 so the student will have to take a student loan or self-fund to meet any shortfall arising from additional fees.

Will I receive any other support while I am studying?

Academic mentoring is a compulsory component of the Scholarship. The successful applicants will be paired with an appropriate STEM role model who will act as a mentor. The mentor will make regular contact during the Scholarship and can assist with research and advice.

What is a STEM internship?

A Toloa STEM internship is an opportunity for the successful recipient to gain experience in an organisation closely linked to their STEM qualification and possibly employment.

Decisions on internship placements will not be confirmed until closer to STEM scholarship recipients’ completion of studies/scholarship.

Applications

How do I know my application has been accepted?

You will receive a confirmation email at the email address you provided on your application.

If you do not receive the confirmation email, please remember to check your spam folders.

Otherwise, email us at contact@mpp.govt.nz, subject line Toloa, and we'll follow up your application for you.

Do I have to provide supporting documents for my application?

Yes. Applicants are required to provide:

  • two written references of 250 words each to support applications
  • certified true copy of passport or birth certificate
  • certified true copy of most recent academic record

How can I remove my application?

You can email your request to contact@mpp.govt.nz to withdraw your application. Include your name and full details and our project team will be in touch.

When will the successful recipients be announced?

2017's Toloa Tertiary Scholarship winners have been announced. Click here to view the winners. 

Is there a place where Scholarship recipients can keep in touch with each other and update everyone on their progress?

Tell us on Facebook! See what other recipients are doing, and showcase your progress as well.

Scholarship payments

The Scholarship payments are capped at $9,000 per year (to a maximum value of $25,000 over three years) to cover the tuition and compulsory fees for the approved programme of

study. Compulsory fees are those only related to the relevant programme of study, plus Student Services Fee and Building Levy.

Payment of the full scholarship amount will be made directly to the tertiary institution at the beginning of the course of study, and the tertiary institution will manage allocation of the scholarship funds to approved fees. If a recipient trabnsfers to a non-STEM course of study, or withdraws from study altogether, any unused scholarship funds will be returned to the Ministry.

Scholarship funds will not be passed directly to the recipient.

If a student fails some papers, MPP has the opportunity to review their continuation in the programme. If MPP decides to allow the student to continue, total scholarship funding remains capped at $25,000 so the student will have to take a student loan or self-fund to meet any shortfall arising from additional fees.

The final grades shall be sent to contact@mpp.govt.nz once they are available.

The Scholarships will continue for the successful applicants up to their third year of study providing the applicants continue to perform at the required standard.

Academic mentoring is an obligatory component of the Scholarships. The institutions will make academic support and tutoring available.

Selection Criteria

The initial basis of selection will be:

  • Of Pacific Island descent (proof will be required)
  • academic ability based on having achieved NCEA Level 3 with Excellence or Merit passes in STEM subjects relevant to the proposed degree course
  • cultural participation in Pacific contexts
  • leadership potential
  • level of preparedness for tertiary study by considering their performance to date in subjects relevant to their intended course.
  • A citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand at the time of application
  • Have enrolled, or intend to enrol, in a full time undergraduate or postgraduate degree course, majoring in STEM subjects, at an approved NZQA accredited tertiary provider in New Zealand for the 2017 academic year.

The financial situation of each applicant may be considered by the panel on a case by case basis.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples is not obliged to make the full number of Scholarships if there are not enough applicants of sufficient merit.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples has the power to amend or vary the criteria provided that there is no departure from the main purpose of the Scholarship. This may include variation in the value of the scholarship to align with the course.

Timeframe

Applications open TBC
Applications close TBC
Awards announced TBC