On 20 February, a group of new and returning University of Waikato students gathered at the Tauranga campus to receive scholarships generously donated by the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust (TTCCT) and Acorn Foundation.
Key funders of the campus development, Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and TECT, supported the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust to fund three scholarships ranging in value from $1,000 to $23,000 per year, for twenty students to study at the University of Waikato in Tauranga.
TECT General Manager Wayne Werder says the scholarships provide an opportunity for students to pursue tertiary education with reduced financial burden. “We are proud to have been one of the key funders that made the Tauranga Campus a reality, and now through these scholarships we are making tertiary education more accessible to our local community, encouraging continued education, and supporting excellence.”
Master of Science (Research) student Anita Lewis was thrilled to be selected as the inaugural recipient of the Tauranga Campus Research Masters Scholarship. Without the financial boost, she would have been forced to put her postgraduate studies on hold and search for a job instead which, given the importance of her research on microplastics pollution in the Bay of Plenty, would’ve been a huge loss for the region. “When I was looking at scholarships, I aimed high and decided that if I get this one, I’ll know that this is the path I need to follow,” says Anita. “I want to use science to make a difference and am grateful for the support to be able to continue my studies with the University of Waikato in Tauranga.”
Third-year teaching student Jake Angus is one of ten recipients of a Tauranga Campus Returning Student Scholarship. The popular takatāpui gender diverse student, with iwi affiliations to Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāpuhi and Tainui, currently juggles four jobs alongside their studies, is involved with the Mana Ake Ki Tauranga Moana Māori student group, and has taken on a new role as the Waikato Students’ Union board director to represent the Tauranga student cohort.
Jake says that receiving the TTCCT scholarship means the world to them. “I am constantly concerned with my ever-increasing student loan debt so having some of that pressure relieved in my final year of study has given me immense peace of mind,” they say.
Three further scholarships were awarded by the Acorn Foundation. The Acorn Foundation Beverly Perszyk Scholarship is a two-year scholarship of $3,000, assisting a student from a family with no history of tertiary study to participate in a university education. Law student Britney Moore, of Ngāti Porou and Te Aitanga-A-Māhaki descent, was the inaugural recipient and also received a Tauranga Campus First-in-Family Scholarship.
Britney was born and raised in Gisborne by her single mother Megan, whom she credits with instilling in her the importance of education, despite not finishing high school herself. “Mum is my greatest supporter and has always pushed me to go to uni because she never did,” says Britney. The teenager is humbled to receive a financial boost that will allow her to concentrate on her studies. “I still can’t get my head around it,” she says. “I’m beyond words… I haven’t ever had something this good happen to me.”
The Acorn Foundation Adult Learner Scholarship for Women, a one-year scholarship of $3,000 assisting an adult female student to study at the campus, was awarded to Nikki Wade, a master’s student in the Applied Community Psychology programme. “I’m sincerely thankful to the Acorn Foundation for their support of me and my whānau in my educational and community endeavours," says Nikki. "Without this scholarship, continuing with my studies would be that much harder."
Although she couldn’t be there on the night, Ebony Kahukura was a recipient of the 13th Acorn Foundation Eva Trowbridge Scholarship, a one-year $3,000 scholarship for an adult student (25 years and over) to study a Diploma in Te Tohu Paetahi with the goal of improving her proficiency in Te Reo Māori. “The Eva Trowbridge Scholarship is helping carry the financial burden associated with taking time out of my career to study and I am so grateful to be the recipient this year,” says Ebony.
University of Waikato Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alister Jones was delighted to attend the awards evening. “It’s wonderful to have the community supporting students’ access to and success in university education.”
Scholarship recipients: Tauranga Campus Research Masters Scholarship: Anita Lewis. Tauranga Campus Returning Student Scholarship: Jake Angus, Bayley Brown, Kelsey Duff, Cushla Foe, Aldene Griezel, Aeilidh Mikkelsen, Kylie Oliver, Anaru Palmer, Molly Pender, Georgia-Lee Edmiston. Tauranga Campus First-in-Family Scholarship: James Burke, Connor Christoffersen, Ruby Doyle, Jade Matika, Britney Moore, Olivia Murray, Nova Russell, Mariana Tarei. Acorn Foundation Adult Learner Scholarship: Nikki Wade; Acorn Foundation Beverly Perszyk Scholarship: Britney Moore; Acorn Foundation Eva Trowbridge Scholarship: Ebony Kahukura