New Zealand Regional Development Scholarships (NZRDS) enable individuals from selected developing countries in the Pacific to undertake studies at tertiary education institutions in the Pacific region. The scholarships are available for full-time, multi-year study at undergraduate or postgraduate level.
The purpose of the NZRDS scheme is for Pacific Islanders to gain knowledge and skills in priority fields of study so that they can directly contribute to the sustainable development of key sectors in their home country. NZRDS candidates are required to return to their home country for two years following the completion of their scholarship to apply their new skills and knowledge towards this purpose.
The NZRDS scheme is funded by the New Zealand Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme. The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), delivers the scheme through the New Zealand Aid Programme. MFAT and AusAID jointly fund Regional Development Scholarships for the Cook Islands.
- Candidates are invited to apply for a New Zealand Regional Development Scholarship (NZRDS) following advertising in their home country. Advertising generally happens between February and April
- New Zealand Regional Development Scholarship candidates apply directly to a nominating authority in their home country. The nominating authority – often the home government’s scholarships or training department – distributes preliminary application forms and advises applicants of the close-off date to return completed applications
- The nominating authority undertakes an initial screening of applications. Between June and August, a selection committee (generally comprising representatives of the nominating authority, MFAT and possibly AusAID) meets to determine a shortlist of candidates for study in the Pacific region
- The nominating authority or the New Zealand High Commission sends shortlisted candidates the NZRDS application form to complete and return, along with certified copies of the required supporting documentation
- The NZRDS applications are sent to the study country by mid October for placement at the relevant education institution
- NZRDS scholarship offers are made to the successful candidates between October and January. To accept the offer, candidates are required to sign the declaration in the NZRDS Offer stating that they will comply with the conditions of the scholarship
- The New Zealand High Commission assists successful candidates with their travel arrangements to the study country and the visa application process. Successful candidates commence their studies between January and February.
Eligibility and level of study
Citizens from Pacific Island countries listed in the table below are currently eligible to apply for a New Zealand Regional Development Scholarship (NZRDS).
Under the NZRDS, study is offered at undergraduate level (for example: Certificate, Diploma or Bachelors degrees) and/or postgraduate level (for example: Postgraduate Diploma or Masters degrees), depending on the home country’s human resource development needs. Samoan candidates may only study at undergraduate level.
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