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 New Zealand Scholarships Programme.

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 2021

Due to COVID-19, we have had to change our focus for tertiary scholarships in 2021. This year, Selection 2021 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, meaning the total number of scholarships offered will be reduced.

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

We aim for scholars selected in 2021 to commence their study in New Zealand or the Pacific from Semester 2, 2022. 

Please see the eligible countries page for more information.

*Please note: You are considered a Pacific school leaver if you: a) are in your last year of secondary school; or b) finished secondary school in 2019 or 2020 and have since 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 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, scholars selected in 2021 will not commence their scholarship at the same time as scholars selected in 2019 and 2020. Please see below for estimated start dates for study in New Zealand.

For Pacific candidates selected for a scholarship in 2021 for study in New Zealand:  We aim for Pacific scholars selected in 2021 to enter New Zealand to commence study from Semester 2, 2022.

For scholars selected in 2019 and 2020 for study in New Zealand: We are continuing to aim for scholars selected in 2019 and 2020 to enter New Zealand to commence study from Semester 1, 2022. Your Education Institution will work with you to determine the earliest opportunity that you can enter New Zealand to commence your study.

Online study

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

Bringing dependents to New Zealand

For the time being, your dependent family members cannot accompany you to New Zealand.

We understand this may be disappointing, however as a result of the volatility of international travel and significant pressure on New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine facilities, it is not possible for scholars to bring their dependent family members to New Zealand.

This policy will remain in place until MFAT advises otherwise and applies to all scholars.

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). Once in New Zealand, if you travel overseas for any reason, you will not be able to return to New Zealand while border restrictions are in place. 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

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 14 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 50,000 people have successfully completed their managed isolation in New Zealand.

For up to date information on New Zealand’s COVID-19 measures, please see the New Zealand Government's COVID-19 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 2021 to enter their Pacific study country to commence study from Semester 2, 2022.

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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