New Zealand Funded scholars have had their scholarships deferred to 2021 since their repatriation from country of studies in March this year due to Travel and Border Restriction from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New Zealand High Commission in Tapeu confirmed to BCN News that 4 of the scholars are currently on island, 3 are from the Pacific Regional Institution and 1 from NZ based Institute. Majority of the NZ based scholars chose to continue with their studies whilst in during and after lock-down.
As a condition for deferral, scholars will not receive any allowances until deferral is lifted. Online studies while on deferral is at the cost of the scholar. The scholars are now undertaking work experience in selected departments relevant to their course of study.
The New Zealand scholarships programme has changed since the Covid-19 pandemic. One of these changes implemented is to allow scholars who are in the final year of their course to complete their studies within their home country provided that a programme audit from the Institute is completed and approved by MFAT.
One scholar will be qualified to complete studies in-country and programme audit is currently under assessment and likely to re-commence studies and entitlements of any normal scholar shortly.