Scholarships: Frequently Asked Questions

We've put together a list of FAQs which may be helpful for you.

For Kupe Scholarships-specific FAQs click here.

The FAQs also apply to early childhood education (ECE), primary and secondary teaching. To go directly to more ECE-specific FAQs click here.

1. What scholarships are available for 2019?

TeachNZ has a range of scholarship opportunities available for 2019. Click here to check out the scholarships on offer and find out when to apply.

Please note: TeachNZ does not have to award the full number of scholarships. Scholarships will only be awarded to candidates who show they meet the merit-based criteria.

2. Are there other funding opportunities if I'm not eligible for a TeachNZ scholarship?

There are a number of sources that you may like to try. The Funding Information Service website has a list of scholarships and grants. This website can be accessed free of charge at public libraries. In addition, you can visit the Universities New Zealand website, a database of University Scholarships. You can also consider a Student Loan. StudyLink is part of the Ministry of Social Development and administers Student Loans and Allowances. You can contact StudyLink on 0800 88 99 00 or visit

3. Which TeachNZ Scholarship should I apply for?

The Application Form and Guide for each scholarship contain detailed information on the eligibility and selection criteria. If you don't meet all the eligibility criteria, check out the other scholarship opportunities available.

You're eligible to apply for a TeachNZ Undergraduate Scholarship if you're enrolled in your first, second, third or fourth year of an approved teaching qualification. Please note that TeachNZ Career Changer Scholarships are only open to people enrolling into the first year of their teaching qualification.

If you're a trained teacher you may want to look at our Study Awards, Sabbaticals and Study Support Grants to find out more about these opportunities.

4. What is a TeachNZ Scholarship worth?

A TeachNZ Scholarship pays course fees for each year of study, and full-time students (or those who have limited full-time status from StudyLink) may also receive an allowance.

The allowance is paid in equal instalments over the duration of your study. To find out more about each scholarship's course fees and allowances, download the relevant 2019 Quick Guide by clicking here. Please note TeachNZ scholarships are subject to change each year. For information on allowance amounts and/or frequency please refer to allowance schedules.

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5. How do I apply for a TeachNZ Scholarship?

The Application Forms and Guide will be available to download on our website from the opening date of each scholarship. There is one application form for Career Changer Scholarship and one form for all other scholarships. All forms and the guide has detailed information on what's required in your application.

You'll need to have commenced enrolment into one of the approved teaching qualifications listed in the form and guide. You can find out more about qualifications by using the TeachNZ Qualifications search tool.

Remember, we're here to help. If you have any questions, you can email us on or call us during business hours on 0800 165 225.

6. What documents do I need to provide with my application?

To help confirm your eligibility you'll need to provide the following:

  • proof of name and date of birth (your New Zealand passport OR New Zealand birth certificate OR certificate of New Zealand citizenship)
  • proof of change of name (if applicable: a marriage certificate, deed poll or birth certificate that shows your name change)
  • proof of residency status (if applicable: the main ID page in your passport AND the page showing your indefinite New Zealand permanent residency stamp or sticker. You must have held permanent residency status for at least three years)
  • proof of your qualifications or academic results (please note you must provide proof of each year of study that you have completed)
  • a copy of your CV (this gives the selection panel a greater understanding of your qualifications and work history).

All your documents must be photocopied and certified.

You can ask any one of the following people to certify your documents:

  • School principal
  • Registrar of a tertiary provider
  • District Court Registrar or Deputy Registrar
  • Barrister or Solicitor
  • Justice of the Peace (you can find a list of local Justices of the Peace in the Yellow Pages).

7. Can I apply for a scholarship if I am studying part time?

Yes, part-time students can apply but the scholarship will only cover your course fees. If you have less than 0.8 EFTS (and do not hold limited full-time status from StudyLink) to complete your qualification you are not eligible to receive the allowance.

One EFTS is usually considered to be a standard year of full-time study by most tertiary providers.

8. What do I need to do if I hold an overseas qualification?

If you have an overseas qualification, you must get this assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) before sending us your application. This includes Australian qualifications. You can apply to get your overseas qualifications assessed at or by contacting NZQA on 0800 697 296.

A NZQA qualifications assessment is required to apply for New Zealand teacher registration and for salary purposes. You can find out more about requirements for New Zealand teacher registration by visiting The Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand or by calling 04 471 0852.

9. Why are TeachNZ scholarships merit-based?

TeachNZ's role is to encourage talented people with the skills, motivation, and disposition to teach into teacher training, and to support successful teachers to stay in the teaching profession. TeachNZ Scholarships are designed so we can attract and reward people with the right attributes into teaching as a career.

The merit-based criterion is to help us to attract top-quality candidates into teaching, and support the Government's focus for education.

TeachNZ Scholarships have merit-based criteria that cover knowledge of, experience with, and involvement with Māori and Pacific communities; academic achievement; and suitability and motivation to teach. Have a look at the relevant scholarship application guide for more information on the selection criteria for the scholarship you're interested in.

10. Why are the TeachNZ Scholarships bonded?

TeachNZ's work is targeted towards attracting and retaining skilled and talented people into the teaching profession.

All TeachNZ Scholarships are bonded. This helps ensure that New Zealanders get some return from their investment in the scholarships.

For most scholarships the bond period is one year for each year a scholarship is received, unless you are in the final year of your study. In this case the bond period is two years. If you receive a TeachNZ Career Changer Scholarship, the bond period is two years for every year the scholarship is received.

If you have less than 0.8 EFTS to complete your qualification, the following rule applies:

Do you hold limited full-time status?

If yes, then the standard Scholarship Terms and Conditions entitlement and bonding clauses apply.

If no, then you are eligible to have only your fees paid, and you will be bonded to complete one year of teaching within two years.

11. Are previous Scholarship or Study Grant recipients eligible to apply for a TeachNZ Scholarship this year?

No. You can only be awarded one TeachNZ Scholarship. If you have been successful in the past and failed to meet the terms and conditions of that scholarship, you're not eligible to reapply.

The merit-based scholarships are only available to students who haven't had the financial benefit of a TeachNZ Scholarship or ECE Study Grant in previous years.

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12. How much do teachers get paid?


There is a wide variety of ECE services and remuneration varies greatly. Salaries may be covered by a collective agreement or negotiated on an individual basis.

Primary and Secondary

Primary and secondary teachers' pay rates are competitive. The following information can be used as a guide.

Trained primary teacher entry salaries are:

• $47,980 for those with a Bachelor's teaching degree.
• $49,588 for those with a Bachelor's degree (not a teaching degree) and a recognised teaching qualification.
• $51,508 for those with a Level 8 specialist/subject qualification and a recognised teaching qualification.
• $54,330 for those with a level 9 specialist/subject qualification and a recognised teaching qualification.

Trained primary teachers will be able to progress to the following salaries after seven years' service:

• Up to $71,891 for those with a Bachelor's teaching degree
• Up to $75,949 for those with a Bachelor's degree/Masters/PhD (not a teaching degree) and a recognised teaching qualification.

Trained secondary teacher entry salaries are:

• $51,200 for those who hold Level 7 specialist/subject qualification (the qualification must have at least 72 credits at Level 7) and a recognised teaching qualification.
• $53,200 for those with a Level 8 specialist/subject qualification and a recognised teaching qualification.
• $56,550 for those with a level 9 specialist/subject qualification and a recognised teaching qualification.

Trained secondary teachers will be able to progress to the following salary after seven years' service:

• Up to $78,000. Teachers with Masters or PhD qualifications and a recognised teaching qualification may take less time to reach this maximum.

In order to progress up the salary scale a teacher must demonstrate that they have met the applicable professional standard. Their school's board of trustees (often delegated to the school principal) must attest that the teacher has met this standard.

Schools can also allocate 'units' to teachers in management positions or to those with extra responsibilities. Each unit is worth $4,000 and is paid on top of a teacher's base salary.

When you're first appointed to a teaching position your entry salary will be assessed by the Ministry of Education. The assessment takes into account your academic qualifications (including any recognised teaching qualifications), any teaching experience and any relevant work experience. (For secondary teachers, relevant work experience will be assessed provided the work was undertaken after completing a recognised and appropriate vocational qualification that is at least at Level 4 on the NZQF).

For more information on teachers' pay, allowances and qualifications visit the Ministry of Education's website.

13. Can I make a late application?

Late applications will not be considered. For your application to be considered, it must be sent and postmarked on or before the closing date.

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ECE-Specific Questions:

1. Why have ECE Study Grants become TeachNZ Scholarships?

The change was made to bring all teaching scholarships under the administration of TeachNZ, and to ensure consistent, merit-based criteria across all scholarships.

TeachNZ ECE Scholarships are merit-based and have a higher value than the older ECE Study Grants, paying core study fees as well as an allowance of $10,000.

2. When do I apply if I am a mid-year student? (ECE applicants only)

The academic year for early childhood teacher education study has two intakes – one at the start of the calendar year and one that commences mid-year. Both start-of-year and mid-year students applying for a scholarship will need to apply in the start-of-year application round.

For mid-year students, the Programme Director confirms on the application form that the applicant is enrolled in an approved qualification for the study year beginning Semester 2, 2016. If the TeachNZ Scholarship is awarded, fees will be paid from Semester 2, 2016.

Once the application round has closed, TeachNZ will contact all providers with a mid-year intake to confirm if applicants are start-of-year or mid-year students.

3. Is the criteria the same for ECE Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships?

In assessing applications for both scholarships, the selection panel will consider each applicant's qualifications and/or history of achievement; knowledge of, experience with, and involvement with Māori and Pacific communities; leadership qualities; community support; and achievements in their life to date. These can include work or sport achievements, community involvement, training and personal development, and academic achievement.

Applicants for an Undergraduate Scholarship will be required to state the highest qualification they have achieved.

The application form and guide have detailed information on what's required for each application. The form and guide will become available on our website approximately one week before the scholarship opens.

Kupe-Specific Questions:

1. Why have Kupe Scholarships been introduced?

The face of our student population and the way they engage and learn is changing rapidly and we need to ensure that our teaching workforce reflects that and can keep pace with those changes.

The proportion of Māori and Pacific teachers in the schooling workforce has changed little over the past decade, even though the proportion of Māori and Pacific students they teach has grown significantly and is expected to increase in years to come.

The Kupe Scholars initiative will identify up to 30 highly talented Māori and Pacific students, and make a commitment to support them as they begin their journey into the teaching profession.

As Kupe Scholars, they will become dynamic and inspiring role models of success in education for Māori and Pacific students and their families, and help to increase the diversity and cultural competence of the teaching profession.

Alongside other initiatives to raise the status of teaching, the prestige associated with Kupe Scholarships will help to make teaching more attractive to young high-achieving Māori and Pacific.

2. How are Kupe Scholarships different from previous scholarships for Māori and Pacific High Achievers?

Kupe Scholarships are new and replace the Māori and Pacific High Achievers Scholarships that were last available in 2014.

There are some key differences between Kupe Scholarships and the previous Māori and Pacific High Achievers Scholarships.

New eligibility criteria

  • If you hope to be selected as a Kupe Scholar, you must provide evidence of your commitment to teaching: you must already be an undergraduate student who has successfully completed at least one full year of an approved teaching qualification, or be a graduate who has enrolled in or started a one year Graduate Diploma/Master of Teaching.
  • You will need to have a high Grade Point Average (GPA): if you are an undergraduate you must have and maintain a B+ GPA during your study.

Two-stage selection process

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to submit a short video presentation related to your teaching and leadership aspirations, the Kupe Scholarship, and your future in general.

A focus on potential

Our selection panel will look for evidence that you:

  • engage with and relate well to children, school students and their families in contemporary contexts, maximising learning through dynamic and innovative modern practices and using smart digital tools and resources
  • have the potential to make a significant and enduring contribution to student achievement and wellbeing throughout your teaching career.

In addition, if you are chosen to be a Kupe Scholar you will receive:

  • information on mentoring support and how to access this support
  • job-seek assistance through a Ministry-approved teacher recruitment agency once you complete your studies and are ready to enter the teaching workforce.

Note: please ensure you refer to both the application form and guide for more detailed information.

3. Why do I need to prove my commitment to teaching, and why do I need such a high GPA to be eligible?

A maximum of just 30 students are chosen to be Kupe Scholars. Becoming a Kupe Scholar doesn't just mean that your potential is recognised and rewarded – it also means that you have our commitment to help you fulfil that potential and make a prominent contribution to the teaching profession.

Because of the prestige associated with becoming a Kupe Scholar, only students who are committed to teaching and have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement and success can be eligible.

4. What should I do if I have further questions about Kupe Scholarships?

Remember, we're here to help. If you have any questions, you can email us at or call us during business hours on 0800 165 225.

We can also provide you with general information on how to access other scholarships and financial support that may be relevant to you.

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