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  • Will Irvine

VUW Refuses Israeli Embassy Scholarship


More than 5 years after students began their campaign, Te Herenga Waka has finally agreed to refuse funding for the Embassy of Israel Prize, a $500 scholarship funded fully by the apartheid regime in Israel. The prize, which no other university in Aotearoa offers, would be awarded to the student who published the best essay on the topic of Israel or the Holocaust. It is unclear if the prize was ever claimed.

In 2019, student activists noticed the prize and sought to have it removed. However, the University was unreceptive at the time, and a petition to keep the prize gained more than 1,800 signatures, although many of these came from people unconnected to the University. 

However, since Israel began its campaign of genocide against the civilian population of Gaza, the University has reneged on their stance, and has communicated to student organisations that they would no longer be accepting funding for the prize from the Israeli Embassy. 

Whilst the University did not provide any official reasoning for their refusal of the prize, the local chapter of Student Justice for Palestine was able to confirm that they have been in discussion with VUW administrators for months now with the intention of refusing the prize.

Since Hamas’s attack on Israel in October 2023, the illegitimate Israeli state has been waging a genocidal war on the Palestinian people. Tensions escalated yet again this week with the massacre of more than 270 Gazans in an operation that rescued just 4 hostages. 

For more coverage of the ongoing imperialist war on Palestine, read our first issue back for Tri 2. 


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