Media Releases

STEM scholarships for Pacific students

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 16:59
Pacific Peoples

Pacific Peoples Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is encouraging Pacific students to apply for Toloa Scholarships and to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects at tertiary level.

“Pacific youth need to be armed with skills, knowledge and confidence in STEM subjects so they can take part in an innovation based economy. Those skills are essential for much of the workforce,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“By combining STEM skills with pacific values and creativity, New Zealand’s pacific youth can play key roles in addressing challenges such as climate change, digital connectivity and resource management.”

“Higher qualifications tend to lead to higher earnings and better long term prospects for pacific families and communities. We want more Pacific people in skilled, sustainable jobs.”

“We introduced the Toloa Scholarships last year to encourage more Pacific people to study STEM subjects at tertiary level. We have now doubled the funding so more pacific students can benefit,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“There is $800,000 available over the next 4 years with a minimum of 8 scholarships per year.”

“Inaugural recipients last year are studying towards degrees in science, engineering technology, biomedical science and technology.”

“These fine young pacific people plan to give back to their communities.  For example, one recipient wants to use the engineering and building solutions she is learning to get more pacific families in to healthier, practical and affordable homes.”

“Other recipients from last year are studying in fields such as climate change and pacific health.”

Applications for the 2017 Toloa Scholarships open today and close on 20 January next year.

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