COVID-19 Updates

This page provides COVID-19 Updates related to Tertiary Scholarships in New Zealand and the Pacific.

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Due to COVID-19, New Zealand’s border is currently closed to all international travellers, and everyone entering New Zealand must undergo managed isolation and quarantine. This, combined with significantly limited flight availability, continues to impact the Manaaki New Zealand Scholarships Programme.

Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World Announcement: Manaaki Scholars

On 3 February 2022, the New Zealand Government announced(external link) a gradual reopening of New Zealand’s border. Under current settings, student visa processing will recommence in October 2022, from which point international students will be able to enter New Zealand without undergoing Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ.)

Due to the time it takes for visas to be processed we are continuing to aim for Manaaki New Zealand Scholars to commence in Semester 1, 2023. This will allow enough time to prepare everything for scholars’ arrival.

If you are a scholar your education institution will advise you of the earliest possible opportunity that you can enter New Zealand. Please contact your education institution if you have any questions regarding your scholarship start date.

Border Exception Category Announcement:

In the interim, a border exception category for 5000 international students will open for applications in April 2022, for study commencing in July 2022. Work is currently under way to determine what the parameters for this border exception will be. If you are a scholar, your education institution will notify you if you meet eligibility criteria once these parameters are determined.

For more information, please refer to the FAQs for tertiary scholars and COVID-19.

Please also see the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 page(external link) for up to date information about COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Tertiary Selection in 2022

Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 border and travel restrictions, we have had to maintain a reduced selection round for tertiary scholarships in 2022. Tertiary Scholarships for Selection 2022 will be open to applicants from the Pacific only.

Tertiary scholarships for study in New Zealand will be offered to Pacific school leavers* undertaking undergraduate study only.

Scholarships for tertiary study in the Pacific will continue to be offered at all levels of study.

We aim for scholars selected in 2022 to commence their study in New Zealand or the Pacific from Semester 1, 2023 or later. 

Please see the eligible countries(external link) page for more information.

*Please note: You are considered a Pacific school leaver if at the time of application for a scholarship you are:

  1. In your last year of secondary school; or
  2. Have finished secondary school in 2020 or 2021 and have since undertaken one or more of the following:
  3. a) in paid or unpaid/voluntary employment, and/or
  4. b) been enrolled in tertiary education or in a preparatory-level study programme for tertiary study. This preparatory-level programme may have been undertaken at a tertiary institution or another education facility.

Changes for successful New Zealand Tertiary Scholarship recipients


COVID-19 continues to cause significant disruption to the Manaaki New Zealand Scholarships Programme, and as a result we have had to make changes to our normal processes.

Start dates for scholars accepted to study in New Zealand

Due to ongoing border closures, visa restrictions, and pressure on New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine facilities, we are currently aiming for scholars to start their study in New Zealand from Semester 1, 2023 or later.

Your education institution will work with you to determine the earliest opportunity that you can enter New Zealand to commence your study. If there are any changes to your study date, your institution will be in contact with you.


Online study

For scholars accepted to study at a New Zealand institution, we have made online study available for some study programmes. It may be possible for you to commence your study programme online, before travelling to New Zealand when borders reopen. If you are eligible for online study, your relevant institution will raise this with you as part of the admissions process.

Managed isolation and quarantine

Everyone entering New Zealand is expected to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Currently, everyone arriving in New Zealand is required to:

  • Stay in a Government managed isolation or quarantine facility for a minimum of 10 days.
  • Undergo testing for COVID-19 during their stay.

You must receive confirmed negative test results before you can leave quarantine or isolation and enter the community. Currently, over 180,000 people have successfully completed their managed isolation in New Zealand.

Your institution will advise you of the specific requirements that you will need to follow before you enter New Zealand.

For up to date information on New Zealand’s MIQ system, please see the New Zealand Government's MIQ website(external link).

Changes for successful Pacific Tertiary Scholarship recipients

Start dates for scholars accepted to study in the Pacific

We aim for Pacific scholars selected in 2022 to enter their Pacific study country to commence study from Semester 1, 2023.

Bringing dependents to your study country

Please note that for the time being, your dependent family members cannot accompany you to your study country. We understand this may be disappointing, however as a result of the volatility of international travel, it is not possible for scholars to bring their dependent family members to their study country. This policy will remain in place until MFAT advises otherwise.

Travelling overseas during your scholarship

As a result of COVID-19 border closures, it is currently not possible for scholars to travel overseas while they are on scholarship (for example, reunion travel or home-located research). If for any reason you do return home, you will be placed on deferral or have the opportunity to withdraw from your scholarship.

This policy will remain in place until MFAT advises otherwise.

Managed isolation and quarantine

You will be expected to adhere to all directives related to COVID-19 issued by the Government of your study country, including the need to undertake managed isolation and quarantine upon arrival.

For more information, please refer to the FAQs for tertiary scholars and COVID-19.

Please also see the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 page(external link) for up to date information about COVID-19 in New Zealand.


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