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Santander UK Announces 500 SME Internships For University Students

  • Santander UK announces an increase of £1.5m in its funding to universities
  • The bank commits £7m to support higher education in the UK in 2012
  • Launch of 500 new internships for British SMEs
  • 100 new international mobility grants for £2,500 each
  • Six Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award winners unveiled

London, 4th  July 2012.- Over 50 Vice-chancellors of UK universities attended the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards ceremony held at London’s Royal Opera House today (4 July 2012) and organized by Santander’s Universities Global Division.  Ana Botín, CEO, Santander UK and Lord Burns, Chairman, Santander UK welcomed prominent figures from the financial, academic and political spheres including David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science and Prof. Eric Thomas, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol.

To mark the 5th anniversary of Santander Universities in the UK, Ana Botín announced that the bank will commit £7 million to support UK universities during 2012. 

500 internships for university students and SMEs
Ms Botín also announced an internship scheme which will help 500 university students work in an SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) for a period of three months. Santander and several SMEs have joined efforts to fund this initiative.

During her speech, Ms Botin praised the work of UK Vice-Chancellors saying: “19 of the top 100 universities in the world are British. There is no doubt that the UK is home to the finest higher education system in the world.”

At a time when budget cuts are affecting the Higher Education sector, the CEO of Santander UK highlighted the role universities play in economic recovery: “Your ideas, your innovations, your students will drive economic growth. We need you to be the world’s engines of progress and invention. We need you to incubate the enterprises of tomorrow.”

Ms Botín then went on to describe SMEs as “the backbone of the UK economy,” as they generate three-quarters of all new jobs. The bank is committed to supporting SMEs through its Santander Breakthrough programme, which was launched earlier this year to provide funding for SMEs at a time when these companies are struggling to receive bank loans.

Santander Mobility Awards
Ms Botín also announced 100 new mobility grants of £2,500 each for UK students to study abroad. These scholarships are in addition to the 571 mobility awards Santander gave in the UK last year.

As part of Santander’s funding to universities, Emilio Botín, Chairman of the Santander Group, together with Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, handed out 100 Formula Santander scholarships to UK university students. The scholarships, of €5,000 each will allow students to continue their studies abroad. 

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards
The event came to a close with the announcement of the winners of the second Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. Three undergraduate and three postgraduate business plans received cash prizes of up to £20,000 after being selected from projects submitted by universities across the country.

The undergraduate winners were:

First prize: Laurence Kemball-Cook from Loughborough University for Pavegen Systems – a cleantech company manufacturing paving slabs which convert the kinetic energy from footsteps into electricity for storage or use in low-power applications like lighting, signage or sound applications.

Second prize: Will Clowes and Charlie Warburg from Newcastle University for Uni Car Ads – a company which supplies large advertisements on the doors and bonnets of private cars in densely populated student areas.

Third prize: Jodie Hughes from the University of Stirling for Adspad – an advertising and marketing company targeting students between 16 - 25 years old.

The postgraduate winners were:

First prize: Roland Partridge and Paul Brennan from the University of Edinburgh for EoSurgical Ltd – a company which designs and produces innovative, practical and affordable simulators for use in education, training and surgery preparation.

Second prize: Nick Troen from London School of Economics for Poncho no.8 – a high-end Mexican fastfood chain.

Third prize:  James Jardine from University of Cambridge for Qiqqa.com – a company that provides free software which helps students and researchers manage information.

Santander promotes these initiatives through its Santander Universities Global Division, whose activities form the backbone of the bank’s corporate social responsibility programme. The bank maintains a stable alliance with nearly 1,000 academic institutions in America, Asia and Europe. In the UK, Santander collaborates with 61 British universities and Higher Education institutions, with agreements focused in promoting international exchange, entrepreneurial activities and the mobility of students and researchers.  

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) A list of all the universities in the Santander UK Universities programme can be found at: www.santander.com/universities

About Us

The Breakthrough programme is aimed at businesses with a turnover of between £500,000 and £10 million per annum with demonstrated growth of 20% or more in turnover, profit or employment. Breakthrough aims to help these businesses fulfil their growth potential to create jobs and stimulate supply-chain demand and a private sector led recovery via a programme of both capital and support. Breakthrough is part of Santander’s Corporate, Commercial and Business Banking division.

About Santander Universities
Through its Santander Universities Global Division, Santander has collaborated with universities for more than 15 years on a unique global initiative which distinguishes it from other national and international banks and financial institutions. The bank supports the Higher Education sector in such areas as teaching and research, international cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer, entrepreneurial initiatives, student mobility and innovation. Santander Universities Global Division maintains a stable alliance with nearly 1,000 academic institutions from America, Asia and Europe. This is a network where universities from all over the world can meet and engage in dialogue. ‘Santander Universities’ was introduced in the UK in 2007 and the bank is already collaborating with sixty British Universities and Higher Education Institutions, with agreements focused in promoting international exchange, entrepreneurial activities and the mobility of students and researchers within the network

Media Enquiries
Carlos Leira - Santander - 0207 756 4575

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Scholarships for university students

Ana Botín, Santander UK's CEO; Lord Burns, chairman of Santander UK; David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science; professor Eric Thomas, President of Universities UK and Vice Chancellor of the University of Bristol.

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