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Santander partnership brings benefits for students

18th March 2016

A branch of Santander bank will open in the Students’ Union as part of Northumbria’s new partnership with Santander Universities that will bring a significant number of benefits to students including scholarships, internships and work placements.

Work will begin next week to convert the former deli in the Students’ Union into an on-campus branch, which is scheduled to open in early May. The branch will make it easier for students and staff to access banking services and will be of particular benefit for international students and staff who need to open a UK bank account on arrival.

Northumbria’s three-year partnership with Santander Universities will also see a package of annual scholarships, worth at least £40,000 per year, made available to students to help to support their international mobility and entrepreneurship activities. Santander will also support the Students’ Union with its fundraising activities, for example, providing opportunities to match-fund donations made to charitable causes such as RAG Week.

As part of this year’s agreement, Santander Universities is funding three £5,000 international scholarships for postgraduate students to encourage them to travel overseas, with a particular focus on travel to Latin America. They are also funding 15 scholarships of £1,000 to enable students or staff to travel to any of the 20 countries where Santander has a higher education partner. Entrepreneurial activities are being supported with a three-day business start-up weekend, enabling up to 60 students to develop their enterprise skills and improve their employability. 

Northumbria has also secured £12,000 of funding to support students and recent graduates from Newcastle Business School to gain work placements and internships with small and medium businesses. A further £5,000 has been awarded to support the development of a Northumbria crowdfunding platform that will be used by students to fundraise for projects and degree shows.

Northumbria’s Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Andrew Wathey CBE, said: “This agreement cements our ambition to collaborate with leading organisations to benefit Northumbria’s academic community of students and staff.  It will enable the University to provide further support and opportunities for research activities, an area where we are gaining significant strength and international recognition. 

"With benefits including funding for scholarships, international exchange and study abroad, work placements, internships and other entrepreneurial activities, this agreement will add significantly to the range of our students' educational experiences and employability prospects. I am confident that this partnership will continue to develop and have a positive impact on our students and staff for many years to come.” 

Robin Foale, Managing Director of Santander Universities, said: “Our relationship with Northumbria has started at an excellent pace, signing the agreement just a few months ago and soon opening a much needed campus branch. At Santander we want to support students and academics with the funding we provide, building long standing relationships between Northumbria and more than 1,200 universities in our network.  Our branch on campus will be the perfect point of contact for anyone who wants to find out more about what Santander has to offer to the community, whether it is to apply for a scholarship or internship or to open a bank account or apply for a mortgage.”

Adam Crawley, President of Northumbria Students’ Union, added: “Santander have an excellent reputation for providing banking services to students and in particular supporting international students to open bank accounts efficiently when they arrive on campus. Having a branch of Santander based in the Students’ Union will make this essential part of student life so much easier and provide a great shop window for students to find out about the Santander scholarships and internships that they can apply for. The Students’ Union is excited by the University’s partnership with Santander and look forward to working with them to promote the opportunities they will bring.”

Santander Universities is a division of the Santander organisation aimed at supporting the communities in which it operates. Since its formation in 1996, Santander Universities has donated over €1 billion to universities in countries including Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Portugal and the UK through scholarships, research grants and mobility awards designed to enable internationalisation and innovation.

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