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Scholarships for Students Studying In Newzealand

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In the 1998 Cabinet Paper "Qualifications for Young People Aged 16 to 19 Years" a new scholarship examination was signalled:

An NCEA Level 4 "Scholarship" will be introduced for the highest achieving students. The nature of assessment for this will require further consideration and consultation with the secondary schools sector and other interest groups. The award could comprise a separate set of examinations or be provided as an elective/extension option to the Level 3 National Certificate examinations.

Discussions about the nature of New Zealand Scholarship were held over the next two years at the Secondary Leaders Forum. There was consultation with the wider secondary education sector. The recommendations from the Leaders Forum were that:

  • the standards for scholarship be externally assessed
  • assessment be used to award scholarships and top scholars.

A scholarship reference group was established to guide the work of subject expert panels and give advice on other details of the policy.

The Reference Group established the following guidelines:

  • a student who achieves scholarship will have demonstrated, within complex situations, higher level critical thinking, abstraction and generalisation and the ability to integrate, synthesise and apply knowledge, skills, understanding and ideas; and
  • depending on the area of study, a student will display a range of:
    • comprehensive content knowledge (breadth and depth)
    • effective communication
    • original or sophisticated solutions, performances or approaches
    • critical evaluation
    • flexible thinking in unfamiliar/unexpected contexts.

After further extensive consultation and planning, Scholarship Examinations were held in 2004 in accordance with these guidelines.

The Scholarship Reference Group, which was convened in response to the greater than expected variation between scholarship results in the 2004 examinations, made a number of recommendations which were accepted by the Government in April 2005. The Ministry of Education and the Qualifications Authority have implemented changes to the Scholarship system for 2005 based on these further recommendations.

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