New Zealand Scholarship - About


The first scholarship examination by the University of New Zealand was held in May 1872. After 1962 scholarships were awarded by the Universities Entrance Board. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority took over the work of the Universities Entrance Board in 1991.

From 1989 to 2003 scholarships were awarded to the top 3-4% of Bursary students. In response to the removal of separate scholarship examinations a group of teachers set up their own scholarship exam, later becoming the New Zealand Educational Scholarships Trust (NZEST).

A "NCEA Level 4" qualification was proposed in the 1998 Cabinet paper "Qualifications for Young People Aged 16 to 19 Years" and the discussions that ensued concluded that there be an external examination and that scholarships be awarded. New Zealand Scholarship exams started in 2004. NZEST stopped its examinations and now provides financial assistance for students studying at NZ universities.

The 2004 examinations, in line with the NCEA, were criterion-referenced and produced some unexpected results distributions. Several reviews of the award and a media and political debate followed. The Scholarship examination was largely revamped. Scholarships in 2005 were awarded to the top three per cent of NCEA Level 3 candidates in the subject, given that examiners are satisfied a worthy standard has been met. Monetary awards were restructured and credit value was removed from the examinations.

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