Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme

Inspiring excellence, all-round development and leadership

Established in 2005, the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship is the most prestigious student scholarship awarded by the University of Waikato.

Named in honour of New Zealand’s greatest adventurer, the scholarship aims to educate recipients within the values of Sir Ed and is inspired by the view that “Together, we believe the impossible is a summit to be conquered.”

The Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship supports students to grow and excel in three key pillars: 1) sport, creative or performing arts, 2) academic achievement, and 3) leadership. Scholars receive comprehensive support throughout their studies relevant to their discipline and tailored personal development and leadership training.

Hillary Scholars also benefit from the Programme’s relationships with regional, national and international partners and sponsors, including sport, music, theatre, screen and media, design, dance, and Māori creative and performing arts.

Once scholars graduate, they join an esteemed group of Hillary alumni. Many Hillary alumni go on to achieve great things in their lives and careers. Some continue to reach new heights as performers, artists, athletes, and academics, and others choose to apply the skills and talents they developed as Hillary Scholars into completely new fields of endeavour.

Sir Edmund Hillary

Prior to his death in 2008, Sir Edmund Hillary was patron of the Hillary Scholarship Programme and enthusiastic about its philosophy of excellence and leadership in academic, sport, and creative arts.

Sir Ed received an Honorary Doctorate from the University in 2006 in recognition of his well-known achievements in mountaineering, exploration, philanthropy and environmental conservation, and the alignment of his success and values to those of the University’s.