As Santander Universities prepares to enter its second decade in the UK next year, Santander UK CEO Nathan Bostock last night announced four new initiatives and an additional £1.6 million in funding, taking the total investment by Santander Universities to £11.3 million for the academic year 2016-2017.

The announcement took place at the 2016 annual Santander Universities Vice-Chancellors Meeting at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, attended by over 35 UK Vice-Chancellors as well as the bank’s Chair Shriti Vadera. Since its inception in the UK in 2007, Santander Universities has donated over £50m to UK universities and supported thousands of students, businesses and projects.

Santander UK Chief Executive, Nathan Bostock said: “I am proud to say that Santander has become a true partner to the Higher Education sector over the last ten years, building a unique network of over 81 UK university partners and more than 1,200 partners worldwide. More than ever, we recognise the need to help young people capitalise on their skills, their ideas and their potential – regardless of their social, financial or geographical background.”

“That’s why, as Santander Universities moves into its second decade, we are not just looking at how we can keep fulfilling our commitment as the largest corporate contributor to Higher Education in the world, but at what we can do to increase and enhance it.”

Four new initiatives and funding for 2016 - 2017

An expanded internships scheme
Santander will now provide 3,250 internships for students to gain experience in the SME sector for the academic year 2016/17 through providing £2.5 million in funding. The scheme, introduced in 2012, not only helps to improve the employability of young people but also provides local businesses with access to young talent, investing in local communities and the local economy.

Scaled-up Entrepreneurship Awards
The Entrepreneurship Awards for 2017 will be increased to support more young entrepreneurs looking for seed funding, or ambitious young companies searching for rapid growth.

Research from Santander Universities this year1 revealed that almost a third (30 per cent) of students currently run or plan to run a business while they are still at university. The Awards support and encourage university students and recent graduates to pursue their business ideas through a national pitching competition to identify the best businesses from Santander Universities’ 81 partner universities. Prizes include funding, support and mentoring.

Mr Bostock, added: “Student entrepreneurs are an important contributor to the UK economy. Santander recognises the importance of supporting and encouraging these young business leaders to dare to invent, innovate and create and this is the very essence of our Entrepreneurship Awards.”

A new fund for Widening Participation
Santander also launched a new £400,000 fund to support Widening Participation. The funding provided will support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study, undertake research or work in a foreign country. The fund aims to help tackle the barriers, both social and economic, that still prevent too many people from fulfilling their educational potential.

Santander Cycles on University campuses
From 2017, Santander will be working with its University partners to expand the popular Santander Cycles scheme to several university campuses around the country. The new scheme is part of Santander’s goal to invest in local communities, helping to provide greater mobility to people.

Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK & Vice-Chancellor at the University of Kent who also spoke at the meeting, said: “The support Santander Universities has given, and continues to give, to universities, and more importantly students, through some of the great programmes announced today, is outstanding.

“It enables individual students to go beyond their academic studies, to think and work more broadly whether it is through developing innovative ideas, through their first real work experience or through study or work abroad. Santander’s forward thinking has enabled its universities programme to grow to be the extraordinary success it is today.”

- ENDS-

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors
1) Research conducted by YouthSight, 24th May – 1st June 2016 amongst a UK representative sample of 2,027 full time undergraduate students.

About Us
Santander Universities

Santander, through Santander Universities, tops the list of Fortune 500 in investment in education (Source: Varkey Report/UNESCO). The Bank has established partnerships with over 1,200 universities in 22 countries, of which 81 are in the UK. Through these agreements Santander promotes entrepreneurship, employability and internationalisation. For further information please visit: www.santander.co.uk/uk/santander-universities

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. As at 30 June 2016, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees and operates through 841 branches (which includes 58 university branches) and 69 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. Santander is among the world’s top banks by market capitalization. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.52 trillion in managed funds, 12,500 branches and 190,000 employees at the close of June 2016. In the first half of 2016, Santander made underlying profit of EUR 3,280 million.

Media Enquiries
Sarah Webster      Tel: 020 7756 5533      Mobile: 07568 112 529
Sarah.webster@santander.co.uk  

The press office operates from 8.00am to 6.00pm. Outside of these hours please call 0800 5877708.