Sign Language Interpreting Scholarship

Closing date: 30 April 21
Value of Award: $3,000
No. of awards: 12
Tenure: The scholarship will: pay you $3,000 per year of study, paid in 2 instalments pay you one off travel and accommodation assistance if you have had to relocate to Auckland to attend the course, to a maximum of $1,500 on top of the scholarship payment.  


Online Application Form

The Ministry of Education is committed to improving educational opportunities and outcomes for children and young people with special education needs. There are approximately 2,500 Ministry staff working in special education throughout New Zealand. We are part of the Ministry of Education, and we are called the Ministry of Education, Special Education.

The Sign Language Interpreting Scholarship is in place to support students who want to train as sign language interpreters and who intend to work with children in the education sector.

Selection criteria:

  • To be eligible to apply for this scholarship you must be accepted into * The Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Priority will be given to applicants who are fluent in te reo Māori or a language in addition to English that is used by children who attend early childhood centres and schools in New Zealand; and to those who have support from their Iwi or Ministry of Education Special Education regional office. Scholarships will also be available to those without a second spoken language who have proven academic ability and hardship. You are not entitled to this study award if you: are not accepted onto the course listed above, are repeating failed courses.

General Information:

How do students apply?
If you meet the eligibility criteria, apply for the Sign Language Interpreting Scholarship by completing the online application form. Your application must include: - your resume - a cover letter outlining   - Why do you want to become a qualified NZSL interpreter   - Your strengths and experience, personal and professional, that will help you to become an effective NZSL Interpreter - academic transcripts of your highest and most recent qualifications - written references from 2 of the following:   - a member of the Deaf community   - your sign language tutor or lecturer   - your employer   - your high school teacher or lecturer. We will use 4 factors to assess your application, and you will be scored on how well your application meets each of these. So make sure your cover letter includes information about each of the following factors: - Your future commitment to working as a sign language interpreter. - Your academic ability. - Your level of financial hardship. - Your understanding of the philosophy and values of deaf culture.
Online Application Form

Decision makers
The following factors are considered when assessing applications: the applicant's future commitment to working with children in the education sector, the applicant's academic ability, the applicant's level of financial hardship, equity of access to sign language interpreters, by children with special education. needs, particularly in regard to ethnicity and the location of teachers.The decision of the selection panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into.  

How and when do students learn of the decision?

What conditions are attached to acceptance of this award?
If you are granted this scholarship, you must meet certain conditions. The specific terms and conditions will be listed in your letter of offer. In brief, you must: enrol in your courses at the university plan your study and workload for the year pass your course papers email us at if any of the information you provided in your application changes – this includes your employment status and contact details, if you fail any papers and if you change your proposed study.  

Additional information
We will give priority to applicants who:can demonstrate proficiency (NCEA level 1 equivalent or higher) in Te Reo Māori, a Pasifika language or a spoken language in addition to English that is widely used by children who attend early childhood centres and schools in New Zealand. Provide evidence of that proficiency in the form of a formal qualification or written reference from a tertiary institution, a kaumatua or a community leader.

Who else has information about this award?
If you have any questions regarding the degree, please contact AUT: Dr George Major Programme Leader  

For guidelines, application forms and more information about this award contact:

Debbie Hughes
Central South Region Manager Special Education
Ministry of Education

Level 3, 19 Market Grove, PO Box 30 177,

Phone: 04 439 4600
Fax: 04 570 3667


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