First-in-Family Scholarships to open the door for university study

23 Sep, 2014

The Woolf Fisher Trust and the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) have combined to establish the Woolf Fisher First-in-Family AUT Scholarships to support and encourage young people from families with no history of successful university education to complete a university degree.

The scholarship holders will be the first in their immediate families to seek to complete a degree. The recipients will become key role models in their families and their community and mentors of other young people wishing to change their lives through university education.

The Woolf Fisher Trust will invest more than $2 million over the next 10 years in this endeavour, which will support up to 40 scholarship holders per year by 2017.  Thirteen scholarships will be offered in 2015, covering the direct costs of study for the duration of the degree (usually three years), with a nominal value of around $20,000 per scholarship.

The Woolf Fisher Trust, established by Sir Woolf Fisher, is one of New Zealand’s largest privately endowed educational trusts.  Trust chairman, Sir Noel Robinson, says we are thrilled to offer these First-in-Family scholarships at AUT.

“We believe that they will help break the cycle within families for whom tertiary degree study is foreign territory,” says Mr Robinson.

AUT University Vice-Chancellor, Derek McCormack, says AUT is delighted to have partnered with the Woolf Fisher Trust to establish this scholarship scheme.

“Our goal is to encourage these young New Zealanders to change their lives by graduating with an AUT degree, to enjoy career success in their chosen field of study, and to provide encouragement and support to others to also aspire to university success,” says McCormack.

The scholarships are for undergraduate degree study at any of the University’s three campuses located in the City, North Shore and Manukau, and annual renewal of the scholarship will be dependent on the satisfactory academic progress of the scholarship recipient.

The Woolf Fisher Trust considers AUT the ideal partner for this endeavour with its commitment to access and opportunity, and academic quality, and the wide range of relevant contemporary degrees that it offers.

The scholarship is open to Year 13 students who are New Zealand citizens and have attended a secondary school in New Zealand for at least two years prior to applying.

For more information on the eligibility criteria, application requirements, selection process and conditions, or to apply, visit, or email

About the Woolf Fisher Trust

The late Sir Woolf Fisher was a passionate supporter of education in New Zealand. In 1960 he founded the Woolf Fisher Trust for the advancement of scientific and general education in New Zealand through its prestigious fellowships and scholarships.  The trustees hope that recipients of their fellowships and scholarships will demonstrate some of the qualities which Sir Woolf himself embodied in his successful career as an industrial pioneer:  integrity, leadership, boldness of vision and exceptional keenness and capacity for work.