Please note: As a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 border and travel restrictions, we are maintaining a reduced selection round for tertiary scholarships to New Zealand in 2022, which will be available to school leaver applicants from the Pacific only. Selection for scholarships to undertake tertiary study in the Pacific has not changed.
Please see the COVID-19 Updates page(external link) for further information.
The Eligibility questionnaire will check in detail if you meet all of the eligibility criteria. The Eligibility questionnaire will check things such as:
- Which country you hold citizenship in
- How long you have been living in your home country
- How much work experience you have
- Whether we provide scholarships to your country
You must complete the eligibility questionnaire before you can apply for a Scholarship.
Complete the Manaaki New Zealand Scholarships online eligibility test (external link) here.(external link)
To apply for a full Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship, you must be 18 years old or older when you start your scholarship. This means if you are 17 years of age when you apply, you must have your 18th birthday before you start your scholarship in semester one.
Exception for Samoa: Applicants applying for the Samoa Foundation intake can be 17 years of age when they commence their scholarship.
There is no upper age limit for applicants. This means if you are 18 and over, you can apply. However, we do prefer applicants who are under 40 years of age for Manaaki New Zealand Scholarships for university or tertiary students.
Only people who successfully get a Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship need to apply for a student visa. But all applicants should check if they are likely to meet the student visa requirements before applying for a scholarship.
Check visa requirements before you apply for a scholarship
You only need to apply for a student visa, if we offer you a scholarship and you accept that offer. But before you apply for a scholarship, we strongly recommend that you check the student visa requirements on the relevant immigration website, listed below. This is because you can only study abroad on scholarship, if you successfully get a student visa.
When and how to apply for a student visa
Please note: Due to COVID-19, Immigration New Zealand is currently not receiving new visa applications. Please check the INZ website regularly for information about when you can apply for your visa.
As soon as a scholar accepts a Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship, they must apply for a student visa on the relevant immigration website below. Once you accept the scholarship we recommend you start your visa application immediately. The visa application process can take two to three months and it involves medical tests.
If a scholarship recipient does not get a student visa, we will have to withdraw the scholarship.
Student visa requirements and visa applications for study in New Zealand
If your scholarship application is for study in New Zealand, then you must meet these visa requirements:
Student visa requirements and visa applications for study at a Pacific university
Eligible citizens from Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu can apply for a scholarship to study at one of four universities in Fiji, Papua New Guinea or Vanuatu.
In most cases, your Study Visa/Permit will be lodged on arrival in the Study Country but we recommend you check the visa requirements on the immigration website of your preferred destination.
- Fiji immigration website: student visa requirements and application form
- Papua New Guinea immigration website: student visa requirements and application form
- Vanuatu immigration website: student visa requirements and application form
We reimburse some visa and medical costs
Most scholars have to pay for the cost of a visa application and any medical tests before they come to New Zealand. When you arrive in New Zealand, your chosen university or education institution will pay you back for the cost of a visa and any medical tests. Please keep all payment receipts, as you will need to show these to your university or education institution to get your money back.
Exception for some Pacific countries:
In some Pacific countries, your local New Zealand High Commission will pay for the cost of your visa application and any medical tests.
Visa costs we will reimburse (if you show your payment receipts)
|Cost||Paid by High Commission or reimbursed by institution in New Zealand|
|Visa application fee and immigration levy||Yes|
|Immigration medical check fee (maximum of one)||Yes|
|Travel to location where medical check occurs||No|
|Travel to location where visa interview occurs||No|
|Police clearance fee||No|
|Courier fee for visa application||No|
|Passport application fee||No|
|Passport renewal fee||No|
|Costs of fees for dependent’s visas||No|
New Zealand’s border settings currently require all foreign nationals to meet Covid-19 vaccine requirements before travelling to New Zealand.
In order to be eligible for a Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship, all scholars will need to demonstrate that they can meet or intend to meet New Zealand’s border requirements, as well as the requirements of their study programme as set by the relevant tertiary institution or provider, including COVID-19 vaccine requirements. This provision encompasses scholars holding New Zealand citizenship.
If you are not currently vaccinated but intend to be vaccinated, we will reimburse you for the cost of your COVID-19 vaccine where a cost is incurred.
Even if you are vaccinated, you still need to:
- have the right to enter New Zealand
- have a negative pre-departure test result
- enter MIQ.
If you cannot be vaccinated for some reason, you may be able to apply for an exemption.
Further information regarding New Zealand’s border requirements on vaccination including exemption processes can be found on New Zealand’s Unite Against COVID-19 website.
Applicants should also review COVID-19 vaccine requirements for their preferred education institutions prior to applying.
Successful scholarship applicants must meet both the academic entry requirements and the English language requirements determined by each education institution.
Check you meet academic entry requirements and English language requirements
As part of the Manaaki New Zealand Scholarships application process, you need to choose your preferred education institution and preferred courses. Scholarship applicants don’t need to apply for admission to their preferred education institution and courses until they are notified that they are a preferred candidate for a scholarship.
But scholarship applicants do need to check that they are likely to meet the minimum academic requirements and the minimum level of English required for their courses.
Course entry requirements are set by your chosen education institution so you must check minimum entry requirements on their website before you apply for a scholarship.
PhD applicants should look for a supervisor as soon as possible
From an early stage, PhD scholarship applicants should look for and email suitable PhD supervisors at New Zealand universities. PhD scholarship applicants who make it to the interview stage will need to provide evidence at the interview that they have either secured a supervisor or are in active discussions with a potential supervisor.
Only shortlisted applicants need English language test scores
Candidates who are are shortlisted for a scholarship to undertake tertiary study in New Zealand must provide an English language test score. This does not apply to candidates who are applying for tertiary study in the Pacific.
English language testing takes place during the final stages of our scholarship selection process. Only applicants on our scholarships short list, need current IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Cambridge Academic English (advanced) test scores.
Only applicants who are shortlisted during our scholarship selection process, are required to provide English language test scores - you don't need to provide an English language score when you apply.
We accept test scores from these four English competency testing systems:
- IELTS (the International English Language Testing System) OR
- TOEFL (the Test of English as a Foreign Language) OR
- PTE Academic (the Pearson Test of English Academic) OR
- Cambridge Academic English (advanced).
If you have passed an IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Cambridge Academic English (advanced) test to the required level during the last 12 months, then your university or education institution may accept these test scores.
If you do not have IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Cambridge Academic English (advanced) test scores from the last 12 months, we will tell applicants on the short list, if and when they need to sit one of these English competency tests.
General level of English expected for post-graduate and under-graduate study
Each university or education institution sets the minimum level of English you need for your preferred courses, so check their website.
Generally, to study for a postgraduate qualification, you must have at least:
- an overall IELTS score of 6.5 and no band less than 6.0
- a TOEFL score of 90 on the internet-based test with a writing score of 21
- an overall PTE Academic score of 58 with no communicative skills score less than 50
- a Cambridge Academic English (advanced) overall score of 176 with no bands less than 169.
Generally, to study for an undergraduate qualification, you must have at least:
- an overall IELTS score of 6.0 and no band less than 5.5
- a TOEFL score of 80 on the internet-based test with a writing score of 21
- an overall PTE Academic score of 50, with no communication skills score less than 42
- a Cambridge Academic English (advanced) overall score of 169 with no bands less than 162.
Note: Some courses have higher minimum English level entry requirements than those outlined above. The information above is a guide only. It is your responsibility to check with the relevant New Zealand institution what the minimum English language entry requirements for the course that you want to study.
Who organises and pays for the English language tests?
We organise and pay for the IELTS test for shortlisted applicants from these countries:
- Papua New Guinea
- Samoa (except Samoa Foundation applicants)
- Solomon Islands
All other shortlisted applicants will need to organise and pay for their own IELTS, TOEFL or PTE Academic tests.
If you are on our applicants’ short list, you will need to book your IELTS or TOEFL testing as soon as possible. This is because the testing process can take several weeks. Shortlisted applicants will need to book a test with a company who does English language testing close to their location.
You may lose the chance to get a New Zealand Scholarship, if your English language testing application form is late or incomplete or inaccurate.
IELTS testing for Pacific
Shortlisted applicants from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa (except Samoa Foundation applicants), Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu must sit the IELTS test after selection interviews.
We contract a company, called Auckland Uniservices, to conduct IELTS testing in the Pacific. Before the IELTS test, Auckland Uniservices will also deliver a course to shortlisted applicants to prepare them for the IELTS test. This course takes place during two or three evenings at a location in your own country.
The New Zealand High Commission will contact applicants living on outer Pacific islands about travel to the location of the IELTS test in their country. Applicants living on outer Pacific islands may take this preparatory course online, if you have good internet access.
Pacific candidates applying for study in New Zealand need to sit IELTS online
If you are a shortlisted applicant from the Pacific applying for study in New Zealand, you must apply for the IELTS test online. Auckland Uniservices will email the online application form to you. Auckland Uniservices does not accept late IELTS applications. You may lose the chance to get a scholarship if your IELTS application is late or incomplete or inaccurate.
IELTS applicants need valid passports
All IELTS test applicants must have a valid passport. All IELTS applications must include a digital colour copy of your passport.
If you don’t have a valid passport, in some situations the IELTS Regional Australia Office may give you special permission to use another form of official identification.
If you have any special needs or questions
Please email Auckland Uniservices if you have any questions or issues with the IELTS application process or testing process.
If you have a disability or any special learning needs (e.g. hearing aids, a visual or learning disability), please email Auckland Uniservices as soon as possible. They may need 6-12 weeks to prepare for any additional requirements.
English training for some shortlisted applicants with a test score just under the required level
We may pay for English language training for some preferred candidates who have a current IELTS test score that is almost at the required level. We will tell you if you are a preferred candidate who can get this English language training.
For preferred candidates from these Pacific countries
We may pay for up to 12 months of English language training for some preferred candidates from these Pacific countries:
- Papua New Guinea
- Samoa (except Samoa Foundation applicants)
- Solomon Islands
This English language training is part of your scholarship. It takes place in New Zealand, immediately before you start studying your qualification. After completing this English language training, you must meet the English language entry requirements for you preferred course. If you don’t meet the requirements, then your scholarship will cease and you must return home.
Occasionally we may pay for up to one semester of English language training in New Zealand for candidates from other Pacific countries. Your education institution will let you know if this is required during selection.
The purpose of a Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship is to fund the training of citizens from developing countries, so they can positively impact on their country's development by sharing new skills and knowledge gained from their study.
We expect scholars to contribute to their country’s social or economic development for two years after completing their scholarship study.
We also only select scholars who have been living in their home country for 2 years prior to applying for a scholarship.
That is why we expect all scholars to return home after their scholarship for at least two years to contribute to the social and economic development of their own country.
When shortlisting scholarship applicants, we prefer applicants who can clearly describe on their application form, how they will improve their country’s social and economic development after their scholarship.
Postgraduate scholarship applicants or applicants, who finished high school a few years ago, must have relevant work experience.
When assessing scholarship applications, we prefer applicants who want to study courses that align strongly with their current work experience. We prefer applicants who will continue working in their current job sector after they finish their scholarship.
On their scholarships application form, applicants must describe how their previous work experience relates to their proposed courses or career. Postgraduate applicants or applicants who finished high school a few years ago must have the following work experience:
- One year of fulltime work experience (i.e. 30 hours or more per week), OR
- Two years of part-time work experience (i.e. up to 29 hours per week).
Work experience can be either paid, unpaid or voluntary.
Exception for school leavers and first year undergraduate students: These two types of scholarship applicant do not need work experience:
- Applicants who are in their final year of Secondary School, OR
- Applicants who are in their first year of tertiary study that was started in the academic year immediately after completing Secondary School.
If you are not eligible, you can research other scholarships in New Zealand
If you do not meet all of the eligibility criteria, then you cannot apply for a Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship on this government website.