Top Scholars from 2020 recognised at Parliament


New Zealand’s highest scoring students have been recognised and presented with awards of excellence by the Prime Minister and Minister of Education today at Parliament. 

Rohan Kumar from Hutt International Boys' School, and Yi Fan (George) Yang from Westlake Boys’ High School were today presented with the Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s annual Top Scholar Award ceremony.

“This award recognises New Zealand’s top scoring student in 2020’s New Zealand Scholarship Examinations and represents the pinnacle of academic achievement at secondary school. In 2020, Rohan and George received the same scores across their Scholarship subjects,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

Chris Hipkins also presented Premier Awards to 12 students, while NZQA’s Acting Board Chair, Professor Neil Quigley, presented awards to the top achieving student in each of the 36 New Zealand Scholarship subjects.

“Each of these students has not only shown themselves to be academic champions, but leaders in their communities. Their interests stretch well outside of the classroom to include service, sport and helping other students so they, too, can succeed.

“It takes commitment, hard work and extraordinary ability to be one of our Top Scholars - particularly in a year disrupted by a pandemic.

“I congratulate all the winners, and acknowledge the parents, friends, teachers, schools and loved ones who have supported and encouraged each of the students,” Chris Hipkins said.

Note for Editors:

More than 10,400 students entered for New Zealand Scholarship Examinations in 2020, with 2,148 awarded one or more scholarships. More information about 2020 New Zealand Scholarship results is available on the NZQA website:

The 2019 Top Scholar Award ceremony was cancelled due to COVID-19, with Prime Minister’s Award winner Liam Anderson recognised at a small function in August 2020.