A Message from the Chairman

Lady Vicky Noon founded the trust 20 years ago, as we go to press,  to enable the most deserving Pakistani scholars to study at premier universities in the West. Her special focus, of course, were the outstanding universities of Oxford and Cambridge, where so many who played leading roles in the 20th century history of south Asia studied. She loved Britain, which she considered her real home, and she cared deeply for the future of Pakistan, her beloved adopted country.

The scheme perfectly married her two countries in a positive symbiotic relationship. The first few awards were made in 1994 and we are delighted that, to date, already more than 150 young Noon Scholars have been supported in their chosen fields of study. Each summer the eight trustees, all with strong links to Pakistan - drawn from the government, academe, public life and media, including a leading professor from Oxford and Cambridge - meet to select the very best, for our awards from the 30-40 candidates who have been admitted to the two universities.

The quality of the candidates is already assured as they have already been admitted to the two universities, but we also aim to stay true to the spirit infused in the foundation by Vicky Noon, who was able to meet the fruits of her scheme until she died in 2000. We seek out those most deserving, more likely to return to help the development and progress of Pakistan, and of course most outstanding. We also look favourably at those who have overcome large scale adversity - and of course we take only those who have not had opportunities to study in the West before.

Over the years we have entered into a number of ingenious matching agreements, with the Foreign Office, with the Soros foundation and with the Oxford Clarendon and Cambridge Commonwealth trust. Even so, the rise in tuition fees and costs of studying in the UK and at Oxbridge, coupled with a significant fall in our endowment income in recent years, has been such that we can never quite support all those we would wish. As such, the trustees decided that they would focus only on applicants to Oxford and Cambridge until further notice, but they would also support students from the Arts and Humanities, areas of interest for Vicky Noon, alongside the stipulated natural and social sciences.  All the trustees, a lively and committed group, feel honoured to be involved in such positive and exciting work. The pleasure and gratitude of the past Noon Scholars is testimony to the value of our work.

- Dr. Paul Flather, Chairman

Sohaib Shamim

We regret to announce the passing this week of former Noon Scholar at Mansfield College, Sohaib Shamim. He died of a heart attack, aged 32

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The Mission of the Foundation

The Lady Viqarunnissa and Sir Firoz Khan Noon Educational Foundation (VNEF) was established in 1992 by Lady Viqarunnissa Noon to support bright young scholars from Pakistan to study at leading universities primarily in the United Kingdom.

The Trust is committed to make a number of full, or partial, usually matching, awards every year to support those brought up and educated in Pakistan studying Natural and Social Sciences, and also, for the foreseeable future, the Arts and the Humanities, at leading universities – currently deemed by the founder and trustees Trustees to be the world-class Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

The Trustees use the following criteria to guide their decisions: the applicant:

  1. Normally domiciled in Pakistan and normally studied for a 12 or more years in Pakistani Schools, Colleges or Universities;;
  2. Should not previously have had the opportunity to study abroad (and certainly not at university level) in Europe, North America or Australasia;;
  3. Should demonstrate high academic merit;
  4. Should demonstrate financial need;
  5. Should have excellent command of the English language;
  6. Should demonstrate intention to return to Pakistan to pursue a career or continue further studies there;
  7. Some indication of the potential contribution to be made by the applicant to the community in Pakistan on his/her return.