VISFO – a global leader in the healthtech industry – has successfully launched its scholarship programme at the University of York to give students from a widening participation background greater access to higher education and an opportunity to embark on a ground-breaking project that will see the students come together to create a ‘social good’.
Dr Max Noble, founder and CEO of VISFO, attended the University of York earlier this month to officially introduce the Enigma scholarships and meet the students set to embark on this fully funded three year programme.
Designed to benefit students from widening participation backgrounds, the scholarships provide monetary funding to help alleviate financial stress, enabling students to get the most out of their studies and wider enrichment activities.
During the programme, scholars will be given the opportunity to work collaboratively on Hypergrad, a long-term philanthropic group project, designed to promote social good. It is hoped the Hypergrad concept will enhance the university experience by helping students to boost their employability, develop a personal brand, improve their general wellness and accelerate their career prospects after graduation.
Created to inspire entrepreneurship and emulate a start-up environment, Hypergrad will give the scholars the chance to take ownership of a business project and experience real-world scenarios as part of their learning path.
Launched in January 2022, the first Enigma cohort consists of 18 undergraduate students studying a diverse range of subjects, including History, English Literature, Computer Science and Psychology.
Izzy is one of the students benefitting from the Enigma scholarship throughout her degree:
‘After finding out I had qualified for the scholarship I was elated. I felt safe knowing I will be able to procure housing for the rest of the year, and be able to continue to participate in university life. As a result of the scholarship I have elected to go on a PPE enrichment trip to Dublin, in order to deepen my understanding of Economics and Philosophy. I am extremely grateful to Max for enabling me to continue enriching myself in university, including societies, clubs and being able to support myself with housing and essentials.’
Joined by members of the VISFO team and representatives from ICD Executive Search talent consultancy, Max kicked off the scholarship launch with an informal presentation which outlined his vision for the future. The scholars were introduced to industry experts across the pharmaceutical space in fields such as software, medicine and marketing, who will be an accessible resource throughout the duration of the scholarship, providing regular mentoring and advice.
‘It’s really exciting to be able to kick-start the Enigma programme with the University of York. As a York alumni I am hugely proud be able to give back to the institution that supported me and create something that will hopefully make a huge difference to each student,’ says Max.
‘At VISFO we have experts from across the pharmaceutical industry with years of experience under their belts. Through this completely unique scholarship I’m hoping to offer the students not only funding, but access to advice and support from established professionals that will fast track their careers to the next level’.
The scholarships are launching at a pivotal time for the University of York as they announce their mission to become a ‘no gaps’ university by 2030, levelling the playing field in higher education and providing equal opportunities for all.
Tracy Lightfoot, the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students also attended the launch of the Enigma programme and was excited for the future of the partnership.
Tracy adds: ‘This scholarship presents a new way of working for us that will greatly benefit students and enterprise. We’re working hard at the University to identify barriers to student development and minimise them effectively. The Enigma project will do just that, giving the recipients the financial freedom to immerse themselves in the full university experience, and the resources to grow as young professionals.’
Now officially launched, the Enigma scholars are set to meet monthly to receive mentoring and expand on the Hypergrad model. The project will be executed entirely by the student, from conception to delivery, with VISFO and ICD Executive Search providing support and guidance.