Toloa Scholarships for Pacific STEM Scholars

The Toloa Scholarships (the Scholarships) were established in 2015 and funded by the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs. The purpose of the Scholarships is to encourage Pacific students to pursue studies in STEM subjects at tertiary level and thereby increase the numbers employed in STEM careers.
1. Up to four scholarships valued at $25,000 will be paid over a period of three years to the successful first year undergraduate or postgraduate recipients.

2. Applications close  mid December  annually.


3. To be eligible to apply for a Toloa Scholarship, the applicant must be:
a. of Pacific descent (see paragraph 4 below) and provide evidence of Pacific descent (passport, birth certificate);

b. A citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand at the time of the application; and

c. enrolled in a STEM related full-time degree/course at an approved NZQA accredited tertiary provider in New Zealand.
4. 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).

5. To prevent cross-over with related Pacific scholarships, the scholarships will not be made available to students when other Pacific scholarships exist for their field of study. For example, Pacific students wishing to study in health related fields will be encouraged to apply for the Ministry of Health Aniva Scholarships which have a focus on medicine, nursing, midwifery, oral health and allied health.

Scholarship payments

6. The Scholarship payments are capped at $9000 per year (to a maximum value of $25000 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.
7. Payment will be made directly to the tertiary institution at the end of each year once the Ministry have received confirmation that you have passed your  course papers.
NB: Successful applicants will need to apply for a student loan, if required, at the beginning of the academic year and their course fees and compulsory fees would be reimbursed to no more than $9000 (to a maximum value of $25000 over three years), subject to passing.
The final grades shall be sent to once they are available.
8. 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.

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

10. In addition to the $25,000, an offer of an internship will be provided in the final year of the Scholarships.

Selection Criteria

11. The initial basis of selection will be:
a. academic ability based on results at Level 2 or higher in the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) or an equivalent qualification;
b. cultural participation in Pacific contexts;
c. leadership potential;
d. level of preparedness for tertiary study by considering their performance to date in subjects relevant to their intended course.

12. The financial situation of each applicant will be considered by the Panel on a case by case basis.

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

14. The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs has the power to amend or vary the criterion 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.

Application Form

15. The References will be confidential to the Selection Panel.

16. Please ensure attachments are labelled clearly.

17. The Ministry will not follow up any incomplete applications.

18. No late applications will be accepted by the Ministry.

19. For further queries regarding the application please or call Toli Sagaga on 022 059 6314

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