As a key supporter of First Foundation, we wanted to provide an update of what this year will look like for the organisation and allow you the opportunity to assist us as we navigate the education space over the next coming years.
In light of Government announcing its free first year tertiary fees for young New Zealand students in late 2017, we had to act swiftly and promptly in updating our existing and new scholarship partners as to inform them of the changes regarding tertiary fees. Thank you to all our existing and new scholarship partners who have continued to support us through these changes.
In August 2018, we had an external consultant do a major piece of work for us looking at the future of First Foundation, having celebrated 20 years in 2018. For us, it’s important that we keep going for at least another 20 years and honour the work of many that have gone before us. As a result of this work being completed, we were very humbled and honoured to be recognised as the most successful tertiary scholarship provider in New Zealand, achieving the highest graduation rates. National average is currently 70-72% as First Foundation is at 83%, soon to be closer to 90%. We know the work that we do as an organisation is so vital, but we also know that we face some challenges ahead. One of these being the introduction when announced of further free tertiary fees in University Year 2 and Year 3 by the current Government. This will change the way in which our current scholarship financial model will work. While the current Government has not yet finalised free tertiary fees in Years 2 and Year 3, we wanted to advise you that we have several plans in place should this go ahead. We will ensure that our communication around this to you will be efficient and clear. At this stage, we plan to make no further changes to our scholarship financial model, but we know that changes will be apparent in the future. As we go through the year, we will be advising you of what the changes could look like and the way in which we will be asking you to support us when we make these changes.
We are about to award 50 amazing and resilient young people a tertiary scholarship, coming from many different places throughout this country, that will enable them to pursue their dream through education. This brings it to a total of 662 scholarships that have been awarded since First Foundation was founded in 1998. This is no mean feat and once again we want to take this opportunity to thank you and all our supporters for the way in which you have supported the organisation, but more importantly our students and their families.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact either one of us and we would be only more than happy to respond.