Manaaki scholars come together for first in-person conference, opportunity to connect and share experiences

A long and proud scholarships legacy has set the scene for a very special conference this weekend, bringing together 520 Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship Programme scholars from 54 countries, in Auckland.

Funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) through International Development Cooperation, and delivered by Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ), the Manaaki Scholar Conference will — for the first time, ever — enable scholars to connect, learn, and share experiences in-person, and with others who are navigating similar academic journeys.

“We are proud to shine a light on the world-class education Manaaki scholars receive, and in particular, on the knowledge and skills scholars gain in New Zealand to benefit their home countries,” says Bernadette Cavanagh, Deputy Secretary for MFAT’s Pacific and Development Group.

“This is a significant opportunity for scholars, and I am proud New Zealand is investing in the development of individuals who have the potential to effect meaningful change — and create impact — in, and for, their communities.”

The two-day programme will see Manaaki scholars participate in a range of activities, including leadership and diplomatic panels, thematic breakout sessions, and a cultural evening.

"The Conference is a valuable tool in enriching the learning of Manaaki scholars, and supporting the development of scholar networks that have strong, enduring connections to New Zealand; we are delighted to be working alongside MFAT to deliver this,” ENZ Acting Chief Executive, Dr Linda Sissons says.

The Manaaki Scholarships Programme is an important strategic mechanism in achieving the development and foreign policy objectives of New Zealand, and of the Programme’s partner countries. Manaaki Scholars build life-long connections with each other, and with New Zealand, while gaining educational pathways to success.

The Manaaki Scholars Conference aims to enhance the scholar experience for tertiary scholars in New Zealand; support tertiary scholars to build strong networks; advance scholars’ understanding of leadership and how to effect change; strengthen academic and professional development; and build scholar affinity with New Zealand.

More information on the conference can be found here.

Hear from New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters here.