Annual Appeal 2021

Support scholarships at the University of Waikato and help students to make an impact on our world faster.

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Support scholarships at the University of Waikato

Our students need to dream big and get the knowledge and confidence they need to take us into the future, with the skills to address the complex problems we will face in the years to come. But they need our help.  

Scholarships are an impactful way to help students springboard into their future. When a financial burden is lifted, students can focus completely on their studies and make meaningful contributions on the world around them, and quickly.

Will you support scholarships at the University of Waikato to help students make an impact on their communities? Read about some of our scholarship students to see how far bright students can go with our support.


Kaitlin Te Rito

Creating innovative solutions in the dairy industry

Kaitlin Te Rito says the scholarship support she received during her studies at the University of Waikato fast-tracked her to her current role as an engineer where she’s putting her problem-solving skills to good use in the dairy industry.

“Scholarships relieved a lot of stress and I wasn’t having to worry about money or my student loan. They also gave me enough financial support to allow me to find summer placements that would further my learning, and ultimately lead me to where I am now,” she says.

Kaitlin is currently working at Hamilton-based engineering firm PDV Consultants, a job she secured while completing a student placement there during her final year.

In 2020 Kaitlin made headlines as the winner of the Kordia Women in Technology Scholarship, worth $5000. The scholarship was established to acknowledge and support up-and-coming female talent and future technology leaders.

"Scholarships are a great way to inspire women into studying STEM. With more diversity, we will see a wider range of creative and inquisitive minds working together to create a better New Zealand." Read Kaitlin's full story.


Te Riria Potiki

Helping iwi mitigate negative impacts on the environment

Environmental Planning student Te Riria Potiki wants to help iwi mitigate negative impacts on the environment as a result of increased development.

Te Riria has received several scholarships and says with the financial weight lifted off her shoulders, she’s been able to make quick progress in her studies and find time to give back to her community. “I am so grateful for the support I have had so far, and because I haven’t had to worry about student debt I know I will be able to get straight to work helping the environment and my iwi.”

Te Riria has since received several further scholarships that have helped put her on her chosen career pathway. She received the Waikato Regional Council and Waikato-Tainui Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarship, which supports students studying in an environmental field in the Waikato region, and a summer research scholarship, funded by the University, where she joined a team of experts to investigate algal blooms in Lake Taupō. Read Te Riria's full story.


Sam Fellows

Championing sustainability at Tauranga City Council

Sam reckons he wouldn’t be where he is today without the University of Waikato. The law and sport alumnus received several scholarships during his studies, which he says fast-tracked him to his dream career as a lawyer and into a variety of volunteer roles.

The first in his family to go to university, Sam is grateful for the support and opportunities he had at Waikato. “I always felt supported and like someone believed in me, and now I do my best to inspire that in others.”

After graduating in 2012, Sam spent three years working in corporate law for Simpson Grierson in Auckland, before returning to Tauranga with his young family and to a solicitor role at law firm Holland Beckett. He was then seconded to Tauranga City Council part-time before taking on the role as in-house solicitor. He moved to managing the environmental regulation team, and is now completing a one-year secondment managing the sustainability and waste team. Read Sam's full story.


Leo Oliver-Dowling

Protecting internet users against malicious cyber attacks

As a Master of Cyber Security student, Leo is on a mission to protect internet users against malicious cyber attacks.

Leo is studying cryptovirology, the study of how cryptography is used to design malicious software, or malware. Hundreds of millions of cyber attacks occur each year, and Leo hopes to change that.

“Cybercrime can devastate businesses, communities and individuals. My goal is to work at the forefront of cyber security while helping people at the same time.”

Without the scholarship, Leo simply wouldn’t have thought about postgraduate study, which would have been a shame considering the industry is crying out for cyber security professionals.

“The scholarship has lightened my financial burden immensely, allowing me to focus on the most important part of university – learning, which coupled with the industry experience, means I’ll be able to get to work in the cyber security industry quicker than I would have otherwise.” Read Leo's full story.