Santander renews partnership and marks significant funding milestone

Santander Universities UK renewed its partnership with the University of Liverpool and marked £1m in total funding since the organisations joined forces almost ten years ago.

The new three-year agreement will provide further educational Travel Awards, a new entrepreneurial programme and employability internships to support students and local business growth in Liverpool.

Since partnering with the University in 2012, Santander Universities have supported hundreds of students, firstly through the provision of scholarship support and lectures from business leaders in their initial agreement. The second agreement saw a focus on fostering internationalisation for students as well as staff, promoting the transfer of knowledge between institutions, as well as supporting entrepreneurs and researchers in their projects.

In the last three years, the third partnership renewal has provided the provision of study abroad opportunities for low participation students and engagement between Management students and global employers through a European career programme. The agreement also provided support for enterprising students who require funding to make their idea a reality through the Enterprise Fund.

Last year, due to some of the planned programme of support being halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, funding was kindly redirected to the University’s COVID-19 Response Campaign to support the University’s research into the virus. Santander also generously gave an additional £25,000 to students facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Education, Entrepreneurship and Employment

Continuing to support three key pillars, Education, Entrepreneurship and Employability, the new three-year agreement will see Santander foster support for: the continuation of educational Travel Awards, providing study abroad opportunities for low participation students; the sponsorship of students to partake in the entrepreneurial programme, Liverpool Design Your Future (DYF); and the Liverpool City Region Business Recovery Programme – a project to encourage business growth through funded internship placements for low participation students at local, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Educational travel

The Travel Awards have remained a key part of the partnership between Santander and the University due to the significant impact international travel has for the development of our students. The expense of international travel is often a barrier for disadvantaged students, and this programme has, and will continue to, develop well-rounded and skilled graduates capable of confidently entering the international employment market.

Fostering entrepreneurs

Delivered by industry experts, the University’s new Design Your Future programme will feature educational sessions run over ten weeks. The sessions will provide a unique opportunity for students to network and engage with other entrepreneurs and employers. Using the skills and knowledge gained from the sessions, students will pitch their projects to a judging panel with the opportunity to win up to £4,000 for first place prize.

Supporting local business growth

As the Liverpool City Region recovers from the impact of the pandemic, the new Business Recovery Programme aims to support business growth through providing local SMEs with fully funded internships. Travel costs or unpaid internships can deter students from gaining employability skills, however this programme will ensure students who need it most will be able to undertake employment.

The new programme of support will ensure more than 200 students, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, are equipped with international, entrepreneurial and employability skills during their academic study.

Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool, said: “We are grateful for Santander Universities’ long-standing and generous support. Over the years, our partnership has provided wonderful educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for our students and has enabled hundreds of graduates to become employable global citizens.

“We are committed to ensuring all of our students have the opportunity to become the next generation of global leaders. The resumption of the Travel Awards will ensure students gain understanding and the skills necessary to thrive in an international employment market. Whilst the Design Your Future programme will provide networking opportunities and entrepreneurial development to students who would not otherwise have access.

“Santander have supported many of our students facing financial hardship throughout the pandemic through the Student Crisis Support Fund. This new agreement sees a continuation of their dedication to helping our students who need it most through the Liverpool City Region Business Recovery Programme. We are proud that this project will provide employability skills for disadvantaged students, whilst supporting local SMEs with fully funded interns as the city recovers from the impact of the pandemic over the past year.”

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UK, said: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK. We’re proud to continue our partnership with the University of Liverpool for a further three years to ensure we can work together in providing even more opportunities which will benefit both students and the local community.”