THE government of New Zealand wants more Mindanawons and indigenous people to apply and study abroad under the Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship.
With a total of 16 slots available for applicants from the Philippines, the New Zealand Embassy said they want to see more Mindanawons, including those from indigenous and Moro communities in Mindanao, apply for the scholarship grant.
Ambassador Peter Kell said on February 3 that the global scholarship is open to everyone and although there have been many scholars accepted from the Philippines, very few were from Mindanao.
“The reality, when we look at the numbers, most of the participants have come from other regions in the Philippines. Therefore, Mindanao, in our view, has been underrepresented,” Kell said during the Kapihan sa PIA media forum.
Particularly, they encourage applicants from various backgrounds such as individuals from the Bangsamoro region, those belonging to Moro communities, and indigenous peoples since the Manaaki scholarships advocate inclusion and diversity.
New Zealand aid manager Dyan Rodriguez said the scholarship is open to postgraduate applicants intending to pursue a master’s and doctorate degree in the field of climate change and resilience, good governance, agriculture, and economic resilience.
Rodriguez said it’s important that applicants have a clear idea of the top two courses and universities they want to pursue since their initial application is also a factor in the university placement after they’ve been shortlisted for the scholarship.
“There is a minimum requirement of work experience. At the minimum, it’s a one-year work experience but the online application process is filled with essay work so that’s why potential applicants should be able to articulate their experiences,” Rodriguez said.
The scholarship is fully funded by the government of New Zealand and applicants should ideally be under 40 years old.
Graduates of the Manaaki Scholarship are obliged to return to the Philippines for two years after finishing their studies but can pursue work opportunities in New Zealand afterward.
Applications are open from February 1 to 28, 2023. Interested individuals can visit the website nzscholarships.gov.nzed or the official Facebook page of the New Zealand embassy. ICM