Wellington Totoweka Scholarships - (School Leaver Scholarships for Equity and Support)

Scholarship level: School leaver
Closing date(s): 1 September
Tenure: One year
Award for: Māori; Pasifika; Living with a disability; Facing financial hardship; From a refugee background
Value: $5,000 - $10,000


Scholarships will be awarded competitively on the basis of academic merit, equity, leadership, and commitment to community. Scholarships are valued at $5,000 - $10,000 for the first year of study which can be put towards accommodation costs at a Victoria University of Wellington Hall of Residence, or as a stipend to contribute towards your first year living costs.


The Wellington Totoweka Scholarships recognise the University's commitment to equity issues in supporting students to have access to education. We encourage strong academic applicants who are Māori; Pasifika; from refugee-backgrounds; have a disability; identify as LGBTQIA+ and Takatāpui or come from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. In supporting these students the University recognises them as New Zealand’s scholars of the future.


  • Applicants must be New Zealand Citizens, Permanent Residents or an International Student who has completed at least two full years (ie. their Year 12 and Year 13) at a New Zealand Secondary School at the time of application.
  • Applicants are expected to have their NCEA Level 2 Certificate endorsed with Merit from Year 12 (or an equivalent level of achievement in an alternate qualification).
  • Applicants must be intending to enrol full-time in the year following application in their first Undergraduate Degree at Victoria University of Wellington.
  • Applicants must be in Year 13 or have completed Year 13 in the year prior and be taking a gap year to be eligible to apply for this scholarship.

Selection Criteria

Scholarships will be awarded competitively on the basis of academic merit, equity, leadership and commitment to community.

Scholarship specific documentation

  • A one-page personal statement outlining any attributes of leadership and/or commitment to your community (ie. with your iwi or hapu, youth group, Polynesian festivals).
  • A reference from your school (to be requested via the online application). You can submit your application before your reference request has been completed, but your reference must be received through the online application before the closing date.

Depending on the categories you fall under, the following additional documents will also be required:

  • Māori - reference from a Kaumatua such as an iwi representative of a Runanga or Trust Board that can endorse your whakapapa
  • Pasifika - an endorsement of your ethnicity from your School Dean for Pasifika or their nominee, a Pasifika community member or Pasifika Liaison Officer.
  • Socio-economically disadvantaged - a statement of earnings from parents and/or caregivers who provide you with financial support or statement if you are self-supporting.
  • Disability - supporting documentation from a GP or other registered health professional.
  • Refugee background - evidence of your refugee status.

Selection process

Selection will be made by the Victoria University Undergraduate Scholarship Committee.

Regulations and conditions

  1. A completed online application must be submitted by 4:30pm on the closing date. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Any required supporting documentation (including references) must also be received by 4:30pm on the closing date in order for the application to be considered.
  2. All offers of the Scholarship will be conditional upon the recipient being fully enrolled in a full-year programme (full-time will be at the level of points considered by Studylink as full-time) within the stipulated criteria and tenure of the scholarship. No payment of the Scholarship will be made until this condition is met.
  3. Scholarships will be awarded at the value of $5,000 or $10,000, based on the equity and support required.
  4. Applicants are expected to have their NCEA Level 2 Certificate endorsed with Merit, or equivalent in another qualification. The equivalent for Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) is a score of 170 across no more than four subjects on the UCAS tariff. The equivalent for International Baccalaureate (IB) is a predicted grade of 31 (which will need to be confirmed in January once IB results are available). Some conditions apply—see regulation 10. Credits must be gained in Year 12; credits gained in Year 13 cannot be included (except for IB students).
  5. All offers of the Scholarship will be conditional upon the recipient gaining NCEA Level 3 with at least 25 credits at Merit or Excellence (or equivalent in another qualification), University Entrance and admission to their degree programme. (NOTE: equivalent for CIE is 240 points on UCAS tariff, from Year 13, or 3 C grades at A level).
  6. Applicants who wish to enrol at Victoria University of Wellington in the year following application directly from Year 12 may not apply for the Scholarship unless they will meet all the normal conditions of the scholarship by the end of their Year 12 year (see regulation 5 in particular).
  7. Applicants who go on an official student school exchange for a minimum of six months instead of completing Year 13 may apply for the Scholarship. These applicants will also need to gain admission through Discretionary Entrance.
  8. Applicants who have taken a (single) gap year after completing Year 13 may apply for the Scholarship as long as they have not studied at another university during that time (i.e. this scholarship is for first-year students, not transferring students). They will need to apply in the year prior to starting study at Victoria University of Wellington.
  9. Exceptional applicants will also be considered for the Wellington Kahotea Scholarships which includes full accommodation costs at a Victoria University of Wellington Hall of Residence plus a stipend for three years conditional on students continuing to be enrolled full-time and maintaining a Grade Point Average of 6 (an B+ average). See full regulations here.
  10. Applicants who meet the criteria for both the Wellington Totoweka and the Wellington Tangiwai Scholarships will be awarded the Wellington Tangiwai Scholarship. They will still be considered for the Wellington Kahotea (see regulation 8).
  11. All recipients of a Wellington School Leaver Scholarship are guaranteed an offer of a place in one of our Halls of Residence, provided an accommodation application is received by the Accommodation Service by their deadline.
  12. The Scholarship cannot be deferred to a later year.
  13. The Scholarship may be held in conjunction with other awards with the exceptions of the Wellington Tangiwai Scholarship, the Wellington Raukaraka Scholarship, the Wellington Kahotea Scholarship, the Marino Accommodation Scholarship, the Robert Bostock Scholarship, or any other Victoria funded School Leaver Scholarship.
  14. Should the recipient withdraw from Victoria University of Wellington during the tenure of this scholarship or fail to achieve a satisfactory progress, partial repayment of the Scholarship will normally be expected. Recipients must advise the Scholarships Office if they intend to withdraw.
  15. Recipients are expected to act as Ambassadors for the University and participate in appropriate events or marketing if requested.
  16. At the discretion of the Deciding Authority, the application of the terms and conditions of the Scholarship may be modified in special circumstances or to avoid hardship to any candidate for the Scholarship.


Scholarships and PhD Admissions Office
Phone 0800 04 04 04