NGO Social Work Study Awards: Application round open

The next application round for the NGO Social Work Study Awards is now open and will close on Friday 12 October 2012. Approximately 70 new study awards will be available commencing in the 2013 academic year.

Programme success

A student, who has the support of the NGO Social Work Study Award programme, including the active support of their employer, is more likely to successfully complete a qualification at bachelor level (Level 7) than the average student studying in New Zealand.

To date, 582 study awards have been made over the seven years these awards have been available – of these, 561 students commenced study and accessed funding through this award. 272 of these students have now graduated with a recognised qualification in social work, 184 students remain active within the programme (i.e. yet to qualify) and 102 have withdrawn before qualifying, most often because the student has moved to non-qualifying employment.

This means that, as a minimum, 73% of the students who have so far exited this programme have left with a qualification in social work recognised by the SWRB. Of those students who have exited early, many carry on with, and successfully complete, their study.

By way of comparison, based on reports published by the Ministry of Education, the overall completion rate in New Zealand for Level 7 (Bachelor) qualifications for those students studying part-time is 47%.

This data suggests that a student who has the additional support of the NGO Social Work Study Award programme, including the active support of their employer and Family and Community Services, is more than 50% more likely to successfully complete a social work qualification at bachelor level (Level 7) than for the average student studying part time in New Zealand.

This outcome will clearly vary for each student based on their abilities, the programme and the education provider, and a range of other factors. While a range of other factors will impact on individual student success, the support provided through this study award is an important positive factor in study success.

About the Awards

Each study award has a maximum possible value of $33,244 (Inc. GST):

  • Students/tauira can receive help with their course fees of up to $3,500 per year and up to $10,500 in total over the duration of the award.
  • Employers can receive a contribution to help support their student tauira in study of up to $4,600 per year and up to $13,800 over the duration of the award. This can be used to help with a range of study-related expenses, including backfilling the employee’s position while they are studying.
  • Employers can also receive a contribution to help with the cost of backfilling their employee/kaimahi while they are on their final three month external placement of up to $8,944.

Application process

Application is a joint process between an NGO employee/kaimahi and their employer. There is a standard application form to complete and it is recommended that employees/kaimahi and their employers work together to complete the application process. Complete and well-presented information is likely to assist in the selection process.

Pre-application workshops/hui

A series of pre-application workshops/hui will be held in September and October 2012. These workshops/hui will explain more fully the information available contained in the Applicants’ Booklet (PDF, 1.1 MB), and on the FACS website, and also provide an opportunity to have any questions answered.

All interested students and employers are invited to attend a workshop near them – all attendees are welcome – it is not necessary to register to attend.

Further information

These awards are administered by Family and Community Services (FACS), a service line of the Ministry of Social Development. More information about these study awards is available on their website or by calling 0508 346 376.

Information booklets and the standard application forms are available:

  • From the Family and Community Services website
  • Through attending one of the pre-application Workshops/hui (see the website for details of these workshops)
  • From Schools of Social Work (Universities, Polytechnics, Wānanga, etc)
  • By calling free phone 0508 346 376

If you have questions or simply wish to discuss aspects of your application or how the study award works, please phone 0508 346 376 in the first instance.