Skip to content Accessibility statement
Home>York Unlimited>News>2022>New ‘Enigma Scholarships’ launched at University of York

New ‘Enigma Scholarships’ launched at University of York

Posted on 4 January 2022

New ‘Enigma Scholarships’ launched at University of York to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds

The University of York has teamed up with a local healthtech consultancy to launch 18 new scholarships to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds realise their academic and entrepreneurial potential.

The scholarship programme begins in early 2022. Image credit: University of York/John Houlihan

The University will partner with VISFO – a West Yorkshire-based Healthtech consultancy led by local entrepreneur Dr Max Noble – to fund the new 'Enigma' scholarships, which are designed to benefit students from widening participation backgrounds.

The scholarships will be awarded to 18 successful applicants at the University of York, who will be supported financially throughout three years of study.

Successful applicants for the scholarship are set to be announced at the end of the year, with the programme beginning in early 2022.


Applicants will have experienced significant barriers to their education goals in their personal, social or domestic life, with the scholarship aiming to level the academic playing field to provide opportunities for those in social care, with disabilities or from minority ethnic groups.

The University of York's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students, Professor Tracy Lightfoot said: "This is a brilliant opportunity for our students and will bring such a rich experience to their time at York.  

"The scholarships are supporting students who need it most, not just through financial support, but the enriching experience of coming together as a group to work, learn and grow together. With the support of Max and other mentors, they'll develop skills and confidence for the workplace and future success."


Dr Max Noble, founder and CEO of VISFO, said: "It’s incredibly important to be providing opportunities like this to students. I know from personal experience how difficult access to higher education can be. It’s a barrier I also encountered, but with support, hard work and determination I began my academic career and never looked back.

"I was lucky enough to return to York at the end of the 90s to pursue a Masters in Health Economics, which became the foundation for VISFO.

"These scholarships for me are not just about financial support, they are also about developing the students and providing them with access to the wealth of knowledge available here at VISFO. We have a growing team of highly successful role models who are keen to offer guidance to the Scholars on their individual journeys. I’m incredibly excited about this partnership with the University of York, and hopeful that Enigma will empower and enthuse the next generation of entrepreneurs."

Those awarded the Enigma scholarship will receive a unique offering, tailored to maximise their professional and academic development. The 18 students will supplement their degree programmes with collaborative work, engineered to connect science, creativity and problem solving, and encourage entrepreneurial thinking. Alongside financial support, VISFO will also provide regular mentoring for participants from experts within the healthtech and pharmaceutical sector.