University of Sunderland signs new agreement with Santander

  • The three-year agreement will provide funding of £100,000 over three years benefitting both students and the local community
  • Initiatives include supporting students from the University’s new School of Medicine, due to open in September 2019

The University of Sunderland and Santander have signed a new three-year partnership agreement. The collaboration will provide scholarships for students, including those entering the newly established Sunderland School of Medicine, which will welcome its first cohort of students in September 2019.

The agreement was signed by the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, and Director of Santander Universities in the UK, Matt Hutnell. The signing ceremony, held at National Glass Centre on the University’s Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, was also attended by Chancellor Steve Cram in one of his final engagements before he steps down from his role in July.

Through this new partnership, Santander will fund a variety of initiatives creating enhanced opportunities for University of Sunderland students and graduates to make the most of their higher education experience and to improve their employability prospects.

Santander's financial support will also enable students to develop their entrepreneurial skills and launch their own businesses in conjunction with the established and successful programmes within the University’s centre for enterprise and innovation – Hope Street Xchange – on its city centre campus.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, said: “This exciting partnership will provide University of Sunderland students with a broad range of opportunities. From supporting our new medical students to helping dynamic young entrepreneurs build the businesses of the future, we are enormously grateful for Santander’s support.

“We look forward to a fruitful and successful three years as we work in partnership with Santander.” 

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UK, said: "We are delighted to welcome the University of Sunderland to the Santander Universities network. We are committed to supporting Higher Education institutions as well as local communities across the UK. Through this new partnership we will be able to collaborate to not only help students at the University of Sunderland thrive, but ensure our mutual projects can deliver real economic and social benefits to the wider community as well.”

Santander Universities was launched by Santander in 1996 with the primary aim for universities to share goals of internationalisation, transfer of knowledge and fostering of entrepreneurial skills. This new agreement marks the 86th partnership for Santander Universities in the UK. The Bank has established partnerships with over 1,200 universities in 20 countries.

Mandi Purvis, President of Wellbeing at Sunderland Students' Union, added: “We’re delighted that students at Sunderland will directly benefit from this support, and would like to thank Santander and the University for backing students’ ideas, careers and entrepreneurialism in this way.”

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Notes to Editors

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 31 December 2018, the bank has around 24,000 employees. It serves around 15 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking; and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits 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, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. At the end of 2018, Banco Santander had EUR 981 billion in customer funds (deposits and mutual funds), 144 million customers, 13,000 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 7,810 million in 2018, an increase of 18% compared to the previous year.

Santander Universities

Santander, through its Santander Universities division, maintains partnerships with close to 1,200 academic institutions in 20 countries. Santander Universities was introduced in the UK in 2007 and the bank now has partnerships with over 80 universities, providing over £10m of funding in 2018 to support university staff and students. In 2015, Santander topped the Global list of Fortune 500 in investment in education (Source: Varkey Report/UNESCO). For further information visit:

About the University of Sunderland

The University of Sunderland welcomes all with talent into higher education and supports them in reaching their potential. The University has 20,000 students based at campuses in Sunderland, London and Hong Kong, as well as with global learning partnerships in 14 countries. Working to shape the city and region, the University is proud of its positive contribution to economic and social change. Its graduates leave equipped with the knowledge, skills, confidence and connections to make a positive difference in the wider world. Find out how the University of Sunderland can change lives at

About Hope Street Xchange

Hope Street Xchange was developed by the University with £4.9m investment support from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) Local Growth Fund and £2.23 million from the European Regional Development Fund. Based on the City Campus it links the University to the region’s small business community by supporting fledgling start-ups and offering space for existing businesses to develop and grow. The University’s Internships and Enterprise project, based in Hope Street Xchange, is receiving up to £2,207,656 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

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