N.Z., Samoa work to resolve issues

The Acting New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, Mike Walsh, has responded to criticisms of the new online system for the selection process of students eligible for New Zealand scholarships. 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi said some 20 highly ranked Samoan students could not secure scholarships due to the new system.

“Government has had to fund 20 scholars, due to them not securing scholarships overseas despite having high ranking grades which was a direct impact of the newly introduced online application selection process undertaken by the New Zealand authorities that took effect last year,” Tuilaepa said.

“The basis for selection applied in the past years, under the scholarship harmonisation arrangement based on academic merit, is a very transparent and easy acceptable process.

“That I intend to push for and have reinstated, and because of this change imposed on us, the 20 highly ranked Foundation students who should have qualified have now been funded by our Government.”

But Mr. Walsh said they are working closely with Samoa to resolve any issues with the roll out of the new application and selection process.

“Officials have met this week in Apia and have discussed lessons from the 2018 process and a number of improvements have been identified for further discussion,” he said.

“Both New Zealand and Samoa are looking for the best outcomes for students and to help develop future leaders and a workforce that can contribute to Samoa’s development.”

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