What makes Ignota different?

Our founders strategically structured Ignota Foundation to operate unlike a typical scholarship program. Rather than using a standard application process to award candidates, the Foundation confidentially selects underprivileged pupils from nominated partner schools and provides anonymous funding for their university education. Recipients are not necessarily the highest achievers among their peers, but each and every one of them is hardworking and deserving. Many are the first in their family to pursue higher education, which is more life-changing than any First they could earn at university.

Our schools play a critical role in the selection process. The headmaster and sixth form teacher work hand-in-hand with the Foundation to select an Ignota scholar and, once chosen, the school not the Foundation delivers the scholarship news to the student. The very idea that we put so much in the hands of the schools hopefully empowers and inspires them to remain comitted to the student beyond the doors of the school.

Furthermore, an Ignota scholarship is not a simple hand-out. Ignota aims to combat the apathy towards higher education that is prevalent among many young people today by empowering and inspiring them to determine their own future. Therefore, funding is contingent on recipients meeting their own academic goals that they have personally set as well as taking on a portion of the financial responsibility themselves. This allows recipients to take ownership of their achievements alongside our support without feeling beholden to a donor.

How does it work?

  • A headteacher is asked to nominate several pupils who have overcome personal difficulties and who would otherwise struggle to afford higher education.
  • One scholarship recipient is chosen at the discretion of the Foundation and the partner school. Students are only notified of their nomination after they have been accepted to an English university, so as not to put undue pressure on him or her.
  • Anonymous funds are provided to cover the first and third years of university. In order to instil a sense of accountability and decision-making, the student must self-fund the second year. Funds are not transferred to the family but rather directly to the university.
  • Each donation is subject to the student's completion of specific academic goals that they have set for themselves.
  • At the end of the selection process, the administration is asked to nominate two more schools for the fund, thus propelling a “pay it forward” system.

Our History

The Ignota Foundation became a registered UK charity in 2015, though our founder had privately been granting scholarships to schools since 2014. The foundation, whose name is derived from the Latin ignoto, which means unknown, seeks to make a difference to the lives of young people in the UK and was created on the principle of the power of giving and receiving. Our founder set out to offer young people the opportunity to earn their own success without making them feel beholden to anyone.

our founder's story

Our Goals

Not every child has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. It is clear that young people who are excluded from or disaffected with education risk negative impact, not only on their skills but on their general life chances. Educational attainment is a key protective factor in every child’s development, and it is our aim to provide this opportunity to as many young people as we can.

Ignota's ultimate goal is to fund two years' university education for at least one child from each of England's 3,162 comprehensive schools. The Trustees have identified the first schools across England as a starting point and are currently working with their senior management, including the Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form, to identify a number of suitable candidates from which the recipients will be chosen.

It is intended that Ignota's reach will grow organically and radiate across England. The administration of each of the "starter" schools nominates another two schools from which the Trustees will identify further candidates for scholarships, thus establishing a "pay it forward" system. This method will continue for as long as it is successful and is evaluated annually by the Trustees.

Ignota aims to maintain contact with our scholarship recipients beyond their education in order to measure the continuing impact that a university education has had on their lives.

Our Trustees

Our trustees ensure that the direction of Ignota’s funding remains consistent and true to our mission. Specifically, Trustees are directly involved in working with the senior management of each school, selecting scholarship recipients based on established criteria, monitoring progress and achievements of our students, and evaluating the selection process on a regular basis.

If you are interested in becoming a trustee or simply becoming involved with Ignota at a higher level, please contact us.

Know our Ignota Trustees

Our Testimonials


Diane & Stuart

This is such an amazing, life-changing gesture, for which our family will always be grateful. We are so proud that our son has his heart set on doing a degree, especially when neither of his parents had this opportunity. He is totally embracing the university experience; loved by his colleagues and thoroughly enjoying his course. He passed his first year exams, whilst also a member of the rugby team, the kayaking club, and an avid gym attendee! He is really putting his heart and soul into everything. Coming from working class families, where both sets of parents and grandparents have had to work full-time all their lives, this gift is even more special. Our family will be forever thankful.



I was brought to tears when I heard of your plan to help with my university tuition fees. My education is very personal to me as it is an achievement I have gained myself and cannot be taken away. I come from a low income, traditional background where university is not a priority, especially for women. Since the news of this scholarship, I have become more self-confident and my family have been much more supportive; this has proven to them how worthy I am of a good education and career. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for this.

Sixth Form Teacher


Ignota Foundation’s programme takes crucial steps to remove any perceived barriers to learning and achievement, and our school is extremely honoured to be given the opportunity to be part of it. As a teacher, being part of this programme allowed me first-hand insight into the valuable work Ingota already does as well as discuss future strategies to elevate the aspirations of young people. Our school's Ignota scholar was a highly respected sixth form student despite some difficult personal circumstances. Her determination to succeed earned her a place at university to study history, and we are immensely proud of her achievement and grateful to Ignota for making this possible.



The conversation that I had with the parents of our Ignota scholar was one of the most rewarding and moving I have ever had. After the initial incredulity at the idea of an anonymous donor wanting to support their child, the emotion and gratitude was overwhelming. I know that River is loving his degree, I know he is developing into a very fine young man who will contribute greatly to society, and I know he and his family will always be grateful for the support, investment, and belief in him by Ignota.



My Ignota scholarship has impacted my life in so many ways. It has given me the drive to make the most of this opportunity and to strive for the best university experience, since I now feel someone believes in me. This scholarship has meant that I'm not anxious about having to pay my loan back, but instead I can perform at my best and achieve my goals. This weight off my shoulders has allowed me to work efficiently to my highest standards.



Paying for this student’s tuition fees in Year 1 and Year 3 will give our Ignota scholar the opportunity to go through university without the financial concerns that many young people have. I believe your support will impact the way she will view the society in which we live for the rest of her life and I am sure it will encourage her to support others, perhaps in a different way, in the future.



I don't know how to thanks Ignota for the support it has given me at such an important stage of my education. Living in the heart of Hackney and the difficulties I have faced in my personal life, this scholarship has provided a platform for me to go into the right career path. I know that I am one of a few lucky students to have this opportunity and that I should make the most of it. The impact Ignota has had on me and my community is incredible. It just goes to show that for all your hard work in life, there is always a reward which mirrors your success as a student.



A recent study of our parents showed that just 17% had been to university themselves. To many parents who live in social housing, debt equates to loan sharks or having to pawn valuable possessions. Some simply don't understand the system of student loans. Ignota Foundation is helping a group of young people overcome such barriers. Social mobility in action means doing things that help young people smash through that glass ceiling of disadvantage. There will be no limits as to how high these talented young people can fly.


Mrs K

I am grateful to the Ignota Foundation for supporting many students, including my son, and ensuring that they can have the opportunity to study at university knowing that there is support for them. The Ignota Foundation is a stepping stone for my and the start of something amazing for his career. I have had difficult moments in my personal life and there have been many problems which we have overcome. Ignota Foundation hows us there is a way forward.