National | University of Victoria

Victoria University offers new scholarship for public servants made redundant

The Wellington Public Sector scholarship pays for two courses done in the second trimester of this year. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

This article was first published by RNZ.

As the number of job cuts to the public service skyrockets, Victoria University is offering a new scholarship for those made redundant.

The Wellington Public Sector Scholarship pays for two courses done in the second trimester of this year.

The university says it is aiming to give people the chance to transform their careers with further study at graduate or postgraduate level.

Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington Vice Chancellor Nic Smith said the university felt it could make a contribution.

“There was enormous skill in the public sector but there’s also a developing set of opportunities and whether that’s in technology or whether that’s in policy - the university’s well-placed to help people think about new opportunities in that space.”

The genesis of the scholarship programme was that the university wanted to lower the barrier to people being able to do that, he said.

Going to university as an adult who has been in the workforce can be intimidating, he said.

“At a time which is really difficult for people if they are perhaps thinking about what their career is and where they’re going, we wanted to make that easy, so they could try what those things look like.”

Although Victoria University offers a range of post-graduate and undergraduate scholarships, it was the first time it had developed a scholarship to address a specific need in the capital, he said.

Asked whether the university could afford the $250,000 that had been put aside for the scholarship, Smith said [

Victoria University] went through some “fundamental financial challenges last year” to put it on a sustainable footing.

“That sustainable footing means that we can do these kinds of initiatives as the need presents itself and so yes we’re very confident that we’ll be able to fund these [scholarships] at the level we’ve indicated.”