Santander renews agreement with Cardiff University

Santander, the fifth largest bank in the UK, has renewed an existing three-year agreement with Cardiff University last Friday. The agreement will provide funding for a total of £225,000 over the next three years.

The agreement was signed by Ana Botín, CEO Santander UK and Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor Dr David Grant at a ceremony attended by members of the University and the bank.

The bank will fund scholarships and awards for students and staff to study in the UK and abroad. Santander will also provide support to the Student Hardship Fund, a research grant for the School of Wales, support to the Cardiff School of European Studies, mobility grants for the Cardiff Business School and support for a student development unit.

Dr Grant said: “Cardiff University is delighted to continue its mutually beneficial partnership with Santander Universities. We welcome Santander’s generous support for students and researchers which will allow the University to develop a variety of academic projects, many of them building on our existing strong links with Spain, Portugal and Latin America. The new agreement will also offer opportunities for students wishing to start business or social enterprises, and to develop other key employment skills. The partnership with Santander has been extremely fruitful so far and I look forward to further exciting outcomes from our new agreement.”

In their speeches, both Ms. Botín and Dr Grant highlighted the importance of the transfer of knowledge and research from universities to society. For that reason, some of the Santander funding will be directed to student entrepreneurs including: the funding of awards for excellence in enterprise and entrepreneurship, support for the SPARK business idea competition and a contribution to the Cardiff Formula racing project.

Ana Botín said: “Santander’s commitment to the university community has become one of the key features of our identity. Cardiff was one of the first universities to join our network in the UK back in 2008. The renewal of this agreement for 3 more years shows the strength of the relationship between Cardiff and Santander, which I am sure will continue for many years to come”

Santander, through its Santander Universities Global Division, began its alliance with universities in 1996, since then the bank has signed 975 agreements with 15 countries, including China, Brazil, Mexico, and the USA. In the UK the network began its activity in 2007 and today 50 universities are now members. Cardiff University joined in September 2008, becoming the first Welsh university to receive funding from Santander.

Ana Botín took also the opportunity to officially open a new Santander university branch on campus. Santander has 31 university branches all over the UK that provide banking and financial services to both students and staff.

Photograph: The Formula Student motor racing team will be one of the projects supported in the new agreement with Santander. Left to right are team member Michael Bryant, Vice-Chancellor Dr David Grant, team member Tom Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of Santander UK Ana Botín and Students’ Union President Marcus Coates-Walker