SWIFT launches $50,000 scholarship scheme

South Waikato Investment Fund Trust (SWIFT) has launched a $50,000 scholarship scheme to help South Waikato residents of all ages with their tertiary education.

SWIFT Chief Executive Amanda Hema says applicants who are not eligible for the Government’s fees free programme may receive up to $5,000 ($1,000 for course related costs and $4,000 for study fees). People who are eligible for the Government’s fees free programme may receive up to $1,000 for course related costs in their first year.

The scholarship programme is not only for school leavers. “SWIFT endorses ‘whole of life’ education and welcomes applicants who are in employment looking to upskill and or members of the community who are looking to reintegrate into the job market by upskilling or gain employment in another industry sector,” says Hema.

The scholarships are open to returning applicants as constant upskilling and development is encouraged. “The scholarships won’t be a ‘one and done’. If an individual continues to study beyond their first tertiary qualification or for extended years beyond their programme, they can apply each year.

“All applicants are welcome and we would especially love to hear from people who are the first in their family to undertake tertiary education because we can refer them to other organisations which can assist financially or advise on enrolment in their chosen field. Qualifications that help the applicant to gain employment in South Waikato will be prioritised.”

Hema says the scholarship scheme has been designed as part of the Trust’s purpose to create educational initiatives in the South Waikato district and will run for five years from 2024 to 2028.

“Additional support beyond financial scholarships is deemed essential for all applicants and we also believe it is important to create scholarship cohorts. A pastoral care programme and support is expected to be developed with potential partners over time.”

SWIFT’s preferred tertiary providers for the scholarships are Toi Ohomai Te Pukenga or University of Waikato. Te Wananga and Open Polytech are also recognised as potential providers.

“This is because Toi Ohomai Te Pukenga Tokoroa Campus is easier to access for people within South Waikato District and the Waikato University provides transportation to its Hamilton Campus.”

Applications for the scholarships are open now and may be made at https://swift.org.nz/scholarship   Successful applicants will be announced on 18 November at the first public open day for Pukenga Rau, the South Waikato Trades Training Centre.

Workshop sessions to help candidates prepare their applications will be available on Tuesday 26 September, Wednesday 4 October, Thursday 12 October, with the support of Toi Ohomai Te Pukenga. For more details visit www.swift.org.nz

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