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The Sad Passing of Dr. Humayun Khan

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing away of our former chair and trustee, Dr. Humayun Khan, a distinguished diplomat and former Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, on 22nd September, 2022.  He did much to help set the direction of travel for the Foundation, making it easier for the trustees to develop and maintain the work of the trust. He was also a devoted brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle and a pillar of strength for his family. We extend our deepest sympathies to all his family and friends. You can read Dr. Humayun Khan's Obituary in the Telegraph.

Chair meets Oxford Noon Scholars 

Dr Paul Flather, chair of the VNEF, was delighted to meet our two current Oxford Noon Scholars at the Ashmolean last month and share some time reviewing South Asian and Pakistan items on display in the museum. Both Brayshna Kundi, who is studying for an MSc in Environmental Studies, and Alia Hasnain, who is studying for a Masters in Public Policy at the Blavatnik School with a focus on education policy, were full of praise and enthusiasm for their time in Oxford - and asked for their thanks to be passed on to the trust and board. They were full of ideas to refresh their work with Government - both are senior advisors in the Pakistan government service - on their return in the summer.  Dr Flather was able to share some anecdotes while showing them around his old college, Balliol (see pictures), before they had tea together in the senior common room.  The group were accompanied by Heather Edwards from the University development office who helped set up the gathering.  

Welcome to our new Board member Professor Kamal Munir

We are delighted to welcome a distinguished new member of our Board of Trustees. Professor Kamal Munir comes with a long list of achievements and as the serving Pro Vice-Chancellor for Community and Engagement at Cambridge University. He is Professor of Strategy and a Fellow of Homerton College. We look forward to his participation at our forthcoming annual meeting in May. He will also help us to keep in touch with Cambridge matters. He replaces our distinguished former Cambridge based trustee, Professor Haroon Ahmed, who has opted to stand down.

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Farewell to Professor Haroon Ahmed   

Professor Haroon Ahmed, former President of Corpus Christie College at Cambridge and Emeritus Professor of Engineering, who, as noted last year, had opted, finally to stand down from our board of trustees after more than 15 years of service. But we were delighted that he agreed to stay connected with us and to continue to serve as a co-opted member of our VNEF Finances Subcommittee, and now he has agreed to offer advice in our selections of particularly science and technology students. He will be much missed, though we are pleased we have not lost his wise counsel.   

Plaque in Remembrance of Lady Noon

We are pleased to be reminded of this wonderful plaque dedicated to our founder, Lady ‘Vicky’ Noon, put up some years ago at the Arts Council of Pakistan, in Karachi, in recognition of her many contributions to the development of arts in the country.

Exorbitant fees deprive capital students of higher education

The exorbitant fee structure of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) colleges in comparison to the provinces in Pakistan has made it difficult for the students of low-income groups to afford to acquire higher education, reports APP, 13th March 2021.  Read more APP, 13th March 2021. Read more here

Pakistan - the Oxbridge Connections: A talk by Professor Haroon Ahmed

What is it about the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and their constituent colleges that have nurtured so many men and women who have gone on to make such immeasurable contributions to Pakistan? 


Board of Trustees Welcomes Newest Member

We are delighted to welcome a new trustee, confirmed at our recent board of trustees meeting hosted at the Ancient Iran and India Trust in Cambridge. He is Professor Faisal Devji, who has written extensively on Pakistan and on intellectual ideas to do with South Asian history and politics. He is director of the Oxford University Asian Studies Institute and a Fellow of St Antony’s College. Please see here for his brief bio. This bring to nine the membership of our board.

Noon Trustees Special Guests at Cambridge University Gathering

Two of our Trustees were welcomed as special guests at the recent welcome gathering for all international scholars at Cambridge University, held at the Twelvetrees Hotel, hosted by the new vice-chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope. Dr Paul Flather, the Chair of the Vicky Noon trust and Professor Haroon Ahmed, were two special guests praised in the opening speeches for the contribution the trust made as one of the many partner bodies that works with the hugely successful Cambridge Commonwealth Trust (CCT). The VNEF is poised to renew its 25-year partnership with Cambridge in the coming months to continue to support able and successful graduates coming from Pakistan to study at the leading university. Pictured are left to right Professor Ahmed, Professor Toope, Dr Flather and Helen Pennant, the director of the CCT.

Warm Welcome to Our Newest Trustee

We welcome Ameena Sayid OBE as the newest member of our Board of Trustees. She is managing Director of Oxford University Press Pakistan, with additional responsibilities for the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa. She is the first woman in Pakistan to be President of the Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce Industry (OICCI) in its 150 year history, and to become head of a multinational company. In 2005, she was awarded the OBE by the Queen, and in 2013, the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the Government of France. She is the founder and director of the Karachi and Islamabad Literature Festivals.


Our complete Board of Trustees can be found here.

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