25 August 2022 at 12:00 pm

Whakatipu Scholarships for indigenous students in Malaysia

Three young indigenous students at Universiti Malaya (UM) have been awarded scholarships totalling RM15,000 plus the opportunity to learn te reo Māori.

Awarding Whakatipu Scholarships
Left to right: Datuk Professor Dr. Danny Wong Tze Ken, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Universiti Malaya; Sharmila Bernau, Deputy Head of Mission NZ High Commission to Malaysia; student Scholastica Philip; student Norazah a/p Din; student Diana Said; Ben Burrowes, ENZ’s Regional Director.

The Whakatipu Scholarships, funded by Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) and UM, aim to empower talented young indigenous students at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and encourage knowledge sharing. As part of their scholarship, the three students will have free access to te reo Māori courses via one of our online learning platforms, FutureLearn.

Two of the recipients, Diana Bah Said and Norazah Din, are of Semai ethnicity and are enrolled in East Asian Studies. The third student, Scholastica Philip, is of Kadazan descent and is  enrolled in Environmental Studies.

Deputy High Commissioner of New Zealand to Malaysia Sharmila Bernau said the Whakatipu Scholarship was established to recognise the indigenous community, and support diversity and inclusion.

“‘Whakatipu’ in the Māori language means to stimulate or nurture growth. It stems from the Māori word ‘tipu’ which means shoot or new growth, like that from a seed.

“Thus, the scholarship symbolises nourishing its recipients, allowing them to become strong and confident through learning and exchange,” she said at the award ceremony.

FASS dean Prof Datuk Dr Danny Wong Tze Ken said that the scholarship would support the students during their undergraduate degrees while preparing them for lifelong learning.

“It is a thoughtfully structured scholarship, where all of these carefully considered components of the programme will provide structures and networks to nurture, encourage and assist them while they complete their undergraduate degrees, develop life skills, cultivate career ambitions and embark on a lifetime of learning,” he said.

Ben Burrowes (ENZ) was invited to join in a traditional dance as part of the Whakatipu Scholarships award ceremony.

ENZ Regional Director Ben Burrowes said he hoped the scholarships would ease the students’ journeys at university and strengthen indigenous links with New Zealand and te Ao Māori.

The scholarships are part of the Education Cooperation Arrangement signed between Education New Zealand with Universiti Malaya in 2021.




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