NZ-based Samoan mother returns to school fees-free

After losing her job through redundancy, Ula Taufao, New Zealand-based Samoan mother-of-three in her 40s had a life turning point after undertaking a fee-free education programme. 

The New Zealand government's fees-free policy applies to students who are new to tertiary education. The policy covers one year's full-time study and has no age limit.

Mrs. Taufao shared her story in a viral documentary on social media posted by the Fees Free Facebook page.

She is a hard-working mother of three who lost her job through New Zealand’s redundancy and faced a difficult time worrying about how to take care of her family.

Stumbling across a Facebook advertisement of the 'Fees Free' programme, Ula knew this was a great opportunity that she had to grab hold of.

She felt anxious about her next career move and how to fulfill her responsibilities to her three children.

Until she saw an advertisement on Facebook for Fees Free. She realised this was an amazing opportunity to study or train. 

“Since I was made redundant, it was a big mess to my life,” she said “Thinking of paying bills of children in College was not easy, so expensive.”

To herself as a mother, she had to do her role as a parent.

“I really want to change my environment in regards to taking a course but I just couldn’t just because I can’t afford,” she added.

“Then I said to myself, I really needed to move on. One day I was just scrolling on FB and I saw the advertisement of Fees Free so I said to myself wow this is an amazing opportunity for me because when you say it’s free why not.

“It’s a pleasure to me to have this beautiful chance because I just couldn’t do it if I do have to pay.”

Ula urges others to check their eligibility.

“My message to everybody if you are keen to grab this kind of great opportunity which is fees-free. Go to the website of fees-free check on your eligibility you may think oh I’m too old,” she said.

“Please you are not too old. I’m 43 but I’m still not giving up. Doesn’t matter if you’ve got how many children, you can still get the chance to go and study.”

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