SDG #1 No Poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

$16m invested in scholarships annually - many specifically for hardship

Generous student hardship fund created in response to Covid-19

Accommodation payments frozen over the 2020 lockdown at halls of residences

Covid-19 has caused the first increase in global poverty in more than 20 years and we know students are especially vulnerable, many losing their part-time jobs in 2020, forcing them into positions of hardship very suddenly. We responded swiftly and generously to the issue as it emerged, with various provisions for students which included hardship grants, freezing accommodation payments in our halls of residences and delivering devices and internet connections.  With the devastating social and economic effects of the pandemic likely to continue to be felt over the next few years, we remain to committed to easing the load for students wherever we can as we know the power of education to transform the trajectory of a life.

Some things we are especially proud of

We offer a free bus services for students from outlying areas in both the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.

We have a comprehensive outreach and recruitment programme with a special focus on schools in low income communities. We know the value of connecting with these communities in ways that work for them, to help break the cycle of poverty.

In 2020, 6% of our new admissions were from low income backgrounds (exceeding a target of 5%), 4.6 % of our graduates came from low income backgrounds (against a target of 5%) and 5.6% of all our students were from low income countries (exceeding a target of 5%).

We are committed to removing barriers to online learning.  When lockdown hit in 2020, our IT team worked around the clock to ensure a smooth transition and send vital equipment to students in need, including 129 internet connections and 260 Chromebooks.

We froze accommodation payments for students at our halls of residences over lockdown in 2020 and offered reduced rates over summer for those facing hardship.

Internships are a vital part of our undergraduate degree programmes, are usually paid and often result in permanent job offers for our students. Our dedicated Work Integrated Learning team provides wrap-around support to ensure our students get the most out of these opportunities so they can hit the ground running when they graduate.

We provided $653,470 in hardship funding to students during lockdown which included generous donations from staff and alumni.

Mohi Rua1

Exploring poverty through an Indigenous psychology lens

Dr Mohi Rua from the School of Psychology is a passionate teacher and researcher of the many complex issues affecting poverty. In recent times he has looked closely at poverty in relation to Māori men’s health, winning the Royal Society Te Apārangi Te Kōpūnui Māori Research Award for his efforts. Find out more about his teaching and research here.

Empty wallet

A close look at precarity in Māori households

New Zealand is the fifth most unequal economy in the OECD and several of our leading psychology experts recently contributed to an e-book titled Precariat Māori households today.  Their research attempts to lift the lid on the complexities of the issue in a New Zealand context, making a strong case for the societal and policy changes needed to support Māori whanau to be truly free from the cycle of precarity.


Free transport to and from campus for students

We know getting to and from campus can be a challenge for some of our students, particularly those in outlying areas without access to reliable public transport.  We are committed to removing this barrier and provide a free regional bus service in both the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.  We also offer a free shuttle service between our Hamilton and Tauranga campuses called the Kamai Shuttle with free Wifi onboard.