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In an attempt to persuade high school leavers across New Zealand to pack their bags and head down south, the University of Otago has well and truly blown its scholarship budget.
New scholarships created by the university have put them in $230,000 of debt during the first two months of this year.
One of those new scholarships is the New Frontiers Scholarship, which awards $5000 to those who achieve an excellence endorsement in NCEA Level 2 and 3, and $2500 to those with excellence endorsed at Level 2 or 3.
The new scholarships were created as a response to a decrease of first-year students applying to the university last year.
When commenting on the matter, a spokeswoman from the university said, “the tertiary environment has changed, becoming much more competitive.”
This incentive subsequently backfired on the university, with the number of students who applied for the scholarship being significantly more than anticipated for in the budget, increasing 6.7% compared with 2015.
The deficit ended February 29, and it is unknown how many scholarships will be rewarded to first-year students next year.