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We invited all young New Zealanders to Make Your Mark on the future of NCEA and inspire us through this competition.

Through the Make Your Mark competition, we sent out the challenge to young New Zealanders from 5-20 years' old to share their vision of what education might look like in the future.

Up for grabs are grants, scholarships, laptops, and gift card prizes - as well as spot prizes, and the opportunity to attend a Design Lab event with other passionate New Zealanders.

Your inspiring entries – in English and Te Reo Māori – will be shared throughout New Zealand and help guide the next steps for NCEA.

The Make your Mark competition is now closed.

Thank you to all the students, with the support of their teachers and other mentors, for entering!

The winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony at Parliament on Thursday 27 September. This event will also be streamed LIVE on the Ministry of Education's Facebook page.

There are four categories in the Make your Mark competition:

1. Young Minds, Young Dreams

Groups aged 5-12 years old

What you do: Create an artwork


  • 1st - $1000 group grant
  • 2nd - $500 group grant
  • 3rd - $250 group grant

Find out more about the Young Minds, Young Dreams category

2. It Starts with You. Express Yourself

Individuals or small teams aged 13-18 years old

What you do: Make a creative response


  • 1st – 6 Laptops, one  for each age (up to $2000 in value)
  • 2nd - $500 for each year level
  • 3rd - $250 for each year level

Find out more about the It Starts with You. Express Yourself category

3. Emerging Leaders

Student leaders aged 13-18 years old.

What you do: Lead a consultation with your peers.


  • Leadership Team grants - 10 prizes of $500 each

 Find out more about the Emerging Leaders category

4. Smart Ideas, Smart Futures

Individuals currently doing NCEA Level 3, in tertiary education or who have recently left school, 15- 20 years old at the end of 2018.

What you do: Design challenge response


  • 1st - $5000 study grant
  • 2nd - $2000 study grant
  • 3rd - $1000 study grant
  • Top 10 submissions funded to attend Design Lab on 1-2 October 2018.

Find out more about the Smart Ideas. Smart Futures category

Make your Mark competition booklet

All the information you need to know about the Make your Mark competition can be found in the competition booklet [PDF 3.4MB]