What is STEM?

STEM is an internationally recognised acronym that refers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics areas of learning. 

Why focus on STEM?

Innovation is essential for a successful and productive economy. To help achieve this, we need more skilled people with creative and problem solving skills, and more people study STEM subjects.

Many STEM occupations have high projections for future growth in New Zealand. These include information technology professionals, engineers, technicians, and natural and physical science professionals.

What are some examples of STEM fields of study?

STEM includes a huge array of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths related subjects. This includes:


  • food science and technology
  • biology
  • biophysics
  • molecular biochemistry
  • botany
  • molecular biology
  • microbiology
  • chemistry


  • computer programming
  • computer science
  • digital communication and media/multimedia
  • animation
  • interactive technology
  • video graphics and special effects


  • engineering
  • bioengineering
  • chemical engineering
  • civil engineering
  • automotive engineering


  • applied mathematics
  • statistics
  • physical sciences
  • physics

This is by no means a comprehensive list!

Can I apply for a Scholarship if I'm currently residing overseas?

Sure, you can enter as long as you prove that you are a New Zealand citizen or resident and you meet the guidelines and criteria which indicate studying in NZ.

Can I apply if I already hold a Scholarship?

Yes you can. 

Can I apply if I intend to enrol in a health related course or qualification?

No. However the Ministry of Health offer the Aniva Scholarship for those wishing to enrol in health related course or qualification. Visit the Ministry of Health website for details.

If I am successful in my application, how will the Scholarship payments be made?

The Scholarships are capped at $9000 per year (to a maximum value of $25,000) to cover the tuition and compulsory fees for the approved programme of study.

Compulsory fees are those only related to the relevant programme of study, plus Student Services Fee and Building Levy.

Payment of the full scholarship amount will be made directly to the tertiary institution at the beginning of the course of study, and the tertiary institution will manage allocation of the scholarship funds to approved fees. If a recipient transfers to a non-STEM course of study, or withdraws from study altogether, any unused scholarship funds will be returned to the Ministry.

Scholarship funds will not be passed directly to the recipient.

If a student fails some papers, MPP has the opportunity to review their continuation in the programme. If MPP decides to allow the student to continue, total scholarship funding remains capped at $25,000 so the student will have to take a student loan or self-fund to meet any shortfall arising from additional fees.

The Scholarships will continue for the successful applicants up to their third year of study providing the applicants continue to perform at the required standard.

Will I receive any other support while I am studying?

Academic mentoring is a compulsory component of the Scholarship. The successful applicants will be paired with an appropriate STEM role model who will act as a mentor. The mentor will make regular contact during the Scholarship and can assist with research and advice.


How do I know my application has been accepted?

You will receive a confirmation email at the email address you provided on your application.

If you do not receive the confirmation email, please remember to check your spam folders.

Otherwise, email with subject line Toloa, and we'll follow up your application for you.

Do I have to provide supporting documents for my application?

Yes. Applicants are required to provide:

  • two written references of 250 words each to support applications
  • certified true copy of passport or birth certificate
  • certified true copy of most recent academic record

Please send final grades via email once they are available.

How can I remove my application?

You can email us your request to withdraw your application. Include your name and full details and our team will be in touch.

When will the successful recipients be announced?

2017's Toloa Tertiary Scholarship recipients have been announced. Click here to view the winners. The 2018 recipients will be announced in March 2018.

Is there a place where Scholarship recipients can keep in touch with each other and update everyone on their progress?

Tell us on Facebook! See what other recipients are doing, and showcase your progress as well.