Man on a STEM mission

posted: 9:00 pm - 1st December 2019
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Fuli Fuli (pictured) is a man on an academic mission, and the Toloa Programme is helping him to achieve it.

Time and time again, the New Zealand-born Samoan proves anything is possible as he works his way to becoming a Doctor of Philosophy in Computer and Information Science.

Back in 2016, Fuli received a Toloa Tertiary Scholarship, and he has been awarded another Scholarship, during the 2018/2019 round.

The Toloa Tertiary Scholarship is one strand of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples Toloa Programme, which has been supporting Pacific students to pursue studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects since its inception in 2015.

For Fuli, receiving two Toloa Tertiary Scholarships is a true blessing.

“The Toloa Tertiary Scholarship helped me initially, in 2016 to gain my Bachelor of Technology (Honours), followed by my Masters, in Computer Science in 2017,” Fuli says.

“I was awarded another Scholarship in 2019, and this will help me as I work towards my PhD in 2020.”

Fuli will begin his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Auckland, in March next year.

“The financial help from these scholarships has given me the confidence to complete my studies without the pressure of finding ways to pay my university fees.

“As a result, I have been able to focus on my studies and achieve my goals.

“Without doubt, the Toloa Tertiary Scholarship helped me get my degrees and has been a great blessing in my life – many thanks to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples for this awesome award.”

Fuli already works in the technology space, as a web developer for Spark, which he says is both great and rewarding.

However, with his PhD studies, he hopes to progress his career in IT.

“There are so many opportunities now for STEM in the workplace and so few Pacific islanders in these industries,” Fuli says.

“I would advise Pacific youth to get into STEM for sure.

“The Toloa Programme offers a great scholarship to help take care of the financial side, so it really is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to venture into a STEM-related industry.”

Applications for the 2020 Toloa Tertiary Scholarships are now open, and will close at 12pm, on December 16, 2019. Apply HERE.