Why First Foundation

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Schools and Students




Bring higher
education within
their reach

Give financial support to deserving
young Kiwis and help break the
cycle of intergenerational poverty

Lift their burden,
change their future

University education is life changing, but not everyone has equal access to it.

The burden of a student loan has a much greater impact on those from low-income families. Young people with dreams of higher education may need to forgo university, going straight into low-skilled work to support themselves and their families. This has an enormous and long-reaching impact on their futures, and those of their whanau.

Financial assistance does much more than help with university costs. It offers students and their families a sense of opportunity and gives them a strong incentive to attend university. Many of our scholars say receiving this support helped them feel deserving of success. With your help, more young Kiwis can get vital support to reach their potential. By giving much-needed financial help to talented students selected for the First Foundation programme, you’ll help them thrive in higher education – creating a positive ripple effect for generations to come.

Give life-changing support

Help a capable student get the
opportunity and education they need
for a higher paying career.

Create social change

Break the cycle of intergenerational
poverty and prevent another generation
in low-skilled jobs.

Shape Aotearoa’s future

Unleash the potential of New Zealand’s
future leaders, who’ll be role models
for their whanau.

“Not a hand out but a hand up”

“The four-year association with each scholar
really helps set up these young people. This is
not a hand out – this is a hand up that allows
us an opportunity to shape the future leaders
of Aotearoa New Zealand.”


How you can help

Our four-year programme is largely funded by generous businesses, trusts and personal funders, who we call scholarship partners.

First Foundation scholars, who are often first in their family to attend university, say their lives are forever changed by the support our partners provide. Plus, many use their improved finances to help their parents, siblings and wider whanau, which further widens your impact.

Financial assistance

As a scholarship partner, you’ll be a cornerstone of the First Foundation programme, providing vital financial assistance for your scholar’s university fees.

Paid work experience

Most of our scholarship partners also provide part-time paid work experience during the programme, to help students grow their skills and professional network. This is a key pillar in the ongoing success of the programme.

Take a look at the Scholarship Partner journey here.

“The youth of today are our future talent”

“Providing demonstrable economic and social benefits to the communities in which we operate and being a good corporate citizen are important to us. We all have a part to play in contributing to the future of New Zealand – and the youth of today are our future talent. There are so many talented young people out there who need support and it feels appropriate to give, when one can do so.”


Unleash the potential of New Zealand’s future leaders by giving capable students the support they need to thrive