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Prof Tracey Riley - Dean Research at Massey University, New Zealand and Dr Aniek Hilkens - Scholar Development Coordinator at Massey University, New Zealand

Scholarships are one way that excellence is acknowledged in higher education, whether the recipient is an undergraduate honours student or highly skilled doctoral researcher. Scholarships are awarded to students who exhibit excellence in their academic, athletic, cultural, artistic and leadership achievements to date to enable them to further develop their abilities and qualities through study. Talent, for scholarship recipients, is largely based on achievement, but how do we support their ongoing personal and scholar development? At Massey University in New Zealand we have been piloting a scholar development programme since the beginning of 2020 called Scholars@Massey. The programme is designed for students across all levels of university study who are recipients of scholarships and aims to develop their talents as part of a community of scholars. In this session we will share with you the structure of the programme and the lessons we have learnt as we have implemented the programme. One of the key highlights has been learning about how to ensure that scholars are aware of and supported through other opportunities for recognition through scholarships and fellowships, as well as helping them to recognise and understand their unique talents and abilities as scholars.


Professor Tracy Riley is the Dean Research at Massey University in New Zealand and the country’s leading academic on gifted and talented education. Tracy is responsible for the Graduate Research School and Scholarships for the University, and in that role, she is able to apply her knowledge and skills about giftedness, learning and development to support research students and scholars. Tracy is the Secretary for the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children and chair of the New Zealand Deans and Directors of Graduate Schools.

Dr Aniek Hilkens grew up in (the narrowest part of) the Netherlands. At Wageningen University, she successfully attained a Bachelor and Master in Applied Communication Science. After completing her Master degree, she moved to Aotearoa New Zealand to complete a doctorate at Massey University. Following her doctorate, she took up the position of Scholar Development Coordinator and is responsible for the development and coordination of the Scholars@Massey program. In that role, she also facilitates learning & development opportunities for doctoral candidates.

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