The 2023 Toloa Scholarship for Pasifika students is now open for applicants for Secondary and Tertiary students. The Toloa fund aims to provide more Pasifika students across New Zealand with the opportunity to study and thrive in STEAM based courses, which includes science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. The Toloa Tertiary Scholarship offers students up to $10,000 for course-related fees for one year of full-time study in a STEAM-related area. There is also an alumni programme available to scholarship winners, allowing further access to mentors, employers, and networks in the STEAM industry.
In a media statement given by Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific People, Aupito William says that “Toloa’s vision is for Pacific people to be engaged and excelling in STEAM education. I want them participating and leading STEAM activities”. A Pasifika student studying Engineering at the University of Auckland, Sefi*, told Craccum that “Unfortunately, a lot of students get left behind by the education system currently in place, but these opportunities allow the Pasifika community access into institutions and job paths that we’re passionate about, rather than the ones we might be forced into.” An Arts student at the University, Selina*, says she thinks “It’s a great initiative, and the inclusion of the arts means no one is left out. Every career path is just as valued, and it makes it seem like Pasifika people are wanted in areas where we’re traditionally shut out.”
The Toloa Scholarship programme was originally introduced to raise Pasifika STEAM career employment from 2.8% in 2021, to 8% by 2028. In 2022, 50 tertiary students were awarded scholarships from the program, with 15 of these given to University of Auckland students. Auptio William claims they are looking to offer a similar number of scholarships this year.
To apply, visit the Toloa Tertiary Scholarship application page. Applications close on Friday 5 August 2022, at 8 pm.
*Names changed for anonymity