Graduate Research Scholarships

K Roe made this Official Information request to University of Waikato

Response to this request is long overdue. By law University of Waikato should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: K Roe

Dear University of Waikato,

Please can you inform me how many students newly enroled in Graduate Research Degrees with the Univerity of Waikato in 2018 without being offered a scholarship?

Please can you provide me with a list of the qualifying GPAs for any such student so New Zealanders can understand the cut-off for scholarships.

Yours faithfully,

A person in New Zealand,

Kelly Roe

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From: Duanna Fowler
University of Waikato


Attachment KRoe OIA response Graduate Research Scholarships 04102019.pdf
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Dear Kelly
Attached please find a response from the University of Waikato to your
Official Information Act request.
Kind regards
Duanna Fowler
Director, Office of the Vice-Chancellor
The University of Waikato
HAMILTON

Phone:  +64 7 838 4665
Mobile:  +64 21 154 0814

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From: K Roe

Dear Duanna Fowler,

Thank you for informing me that 171 new graduate research students at the University of Waikato in 2018 were not offered scholarships by the University.

My understanding of University Doctoral and Masters Scholarships is that they are Academic Merit Scholarships.

In other words, Applicants will be ranked for these Scholarships on the basis of their NZ University 9 point scale GPA (or foreign equivalent).

In other words, there should be a cut-off with respect to the lowest GPA of successful recipient for such scholarships.

In other words, if one successful applicant had a GPA of 7.8 and one unsuccessful applicant had a GPA of 8.1 then the University failed to follow proper process in deciding who to / who not to award the Academic Merit Scholarship to.

What was the GPA cut-off in 2018 for the University Offered Academic Merit Graduate Research Scholarships? In other words, what was the lowest GPA of successful scholarship recipients?

Yours sincerely,

K Roe

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From: K Roe

Dear Duanna Fowler,

Please can you answer my question.

What was the minimum GPA for successful academic merit scholarships for the various gradauate research Degrees?

Yours sincerely,

K Roe

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From: K Roe

Dear Duanna Fowler,

Is the idea that the University takes the minimum cut off (e.g., A- or whatever) and then has a pool of applicants deemed to be qualified...

And then has a meeting where they discuss how much they like the students faces, or how much they like the sound of their project, or how much they enjoy their performance in unrelated hobbies, or how many typographical errors they did not find in their research proposal...

And the scholarships committee is then free to choose whomever they want from amongst the applicants deemed to be qualified?

Rather than, say, ranking the applicants on the basis of acaemic merit / GPA and offering the 120 scholarships (or however many) to the students on the basis of their academic merit list score.

If the later happens (such that the selection process delivers the verdict that a GPA in excess of A is regarded to be of less academic merit than a GPA of A-) then what assurance do we have that the funds actually made their way to anybody at all?

Is there a list of candidates who received the scholarship monies?

Yours sincerely,

K Roe

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From: Duanna Fowler
University of Waikato


Attachment KRoe OIA 200320.pdf
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Dear Kelly
Attached please find a response from the University of Waikato to you
Official Information Act requests.
Kind regards

Duanna Fowler
Director
Office of the Vice-Chancellor
Ph: [1]+64 7 838 4665  |  Mobile: [2]+64 22
111 8445
University of Waikato  |  Private Bag 3105
Hamilton 3240  |  New Zealand
[3]waikato.ac.nz
[4]University of Waikato

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From: K Roe

Dear Duanna Fowler,

To clarify / repeat myself a little, I am NOT inquiring about scholarships that are avertised to be offered to students on the basis of sporting achievements, tribal affiliations, financial need etc.

My inquiry ONLY pertains to scholarships that are avertised as being awarded on the basis of academic merit only.

I am trying to understand where the money goes. My GPA was in excess of 8.0 (no matter what particular algorithm you choose to employ). I applied for an academic based Master's Scholarship. I did not get one.

I am curious about what criterion was used to decide which applicants were successful if it was not academic merit based (as it was advertised to be).

My real concern is whether the scholarship money made it's way to any students at all as a matter of fact or whether the University (or employees within the Univesrity) diverted the funds for other uses.

I am sure it used to be the case that there was a list of students who had been offered academic merit scholarships. An honors list or something like that.

Or if it is the case that the Scholarships Committee decides what they believe 'academic merit' to be in a way that is independent of the GPAs that were awarded by Univesrity Academics from Univerities around the world.

Yours sincerely,

K Roe

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From: Duanna Fowler
University of Waikato


Attachment VC Response re FASS Masters Scholarship.pdf
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Attachment FASS 120 Pt Masters.pdf
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Attachment 1 Nov 2019 reponse letter.pdf
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Attachment KRoe OIA 200320.pdf
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Attachment attachment.html
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Dear Kelly
 
I refer you to the University’s previous correspondences attached that
answer your questions.
 
Namely:
• The calculation of the GPA depends on the scholarship. 
• The academic merit scholarships available require a minimum GPA that
ranges between A- to B+. 
• The FASS 120/240 point Masters Award Regulations are clear that the
award of the scholarship is not solely based on the GPA of the applicants.
It is awarded on academic merit, which includes the quality of the
one-page research proposal.
• There were nine applicants for the FASS Scholarship in Round 2 of the
2018 awards. Of those applicants, five were successful and received
scholarship funds.
• The University does not publish a list of recipients for this award and
will not be providing you with a list of such.
• The University does not divert scholarship funds for other uses.
Kind regards

Duanna Fowler
Director
Office of the Vice-Chancellor
Ph: [1]+64 7 838 4665  |  Mobile: [2]+64 22
111 8445
University of Waikato  |  Private Bag 3105 
Hamilton 3240  |  New Zealand
[3]waikato.ac.nz
[4]University of Waikato

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From: K Roe

Dear Duanna Fowler,

I am just having a really hard time understanding why the University would not wish to publish a list of students who have achieved academic merit scholarships to publically recognise their achievement.

And also to provide some accountability that the money went to students (instead of the money not going out to students and students instead being informed their research proposal was judged 'not good enough' by the University -- and that decision being final).

I am wondering how the requirement to complete 1 year of study in 1 year works out when (to the best of my knowledge) no University of Waikato students are allowed to complete 120 points of graduate research in 1 Calendar year = 1 Academic Year = 1,200 hours of work = 34 notional learning weeks including the examination period.

I submitted a 120 point thesis for examination 14 September 2018 after providing evidence of supervised work to the University from 05 March 2018. That thesis was NEVER sent out for examination because the University of Waikato thought that they decide quality assessment rather than externals. Finally a thesis was sent out for examination. It took more than 4 months to examine (I was previously informed to time budget only 3). The outcome of examination was delivered January 11 2019. The University said (as the University always does) 're-enrol for at least 6 months and pay additional fees or you will never quality to complete the qualification'. This was a decision made in my 6 month review (my thesis submission date was recorded as 30 June 2019 and also my thesis title was mis-spelled by the Univesrity in their pre-filled template).

If 120 point research theses 'inevitably' take 1 1/2 years or 2 years to complete -- then nobody completed graduate research on a full time basis at the University of Waikato.

I am wondering if the Research Scholarships are being used as a 'pay out' for students to accept 120 point research being temporally smeared over 2 years by way of their accepting '120 points C semester 2018... C semester 2019' on their transcript -- otherwise they never complete the Degree and have to give the money back.

It appears to be refusal to process enrolments (often delayed more than 6 months so there can be a Hui about 'quality') then refusal to send work to examiners (have a hui about 'too early boo hoo!!' and again a Hui about 'quality'). Then refusal to accept the reports of examiners (hui about the examiners reports needing to be written again -- the examiners need to write another round of reports until they come into line with the judgement that was previously made by the Univesrity of Waikato).

And then the verdict: Nobody is allowed to produce graduate research on a full time basis at the Univesrity of Waikato.

Does anybody complete in the 'minimum normal or standard time'

34 weeks = 120 points = 1 calendar year = 1 academic year

Or..

Does the University of Waikato invoice the Tertiary Commission something else??

Yours sincerely,

K Roe

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