Measures include 1,000 social assistance scholarships and the purchase of computers and IT equipment 

Adding to lab equipment at higher-education institutions to prepare covid-19 tests, and other initiatives by the institutions to fight the pandemic's effects 

The bank will create a fund to accelerate projects linked to covid-19 developed by university volunteers 

Lisbon, 07 April 2020. 
Santander and higher-education institutions in Portugal are channelling more than EUR 1.5 million for initiatives supporting Portuguese students and families with a view to adress the economic, social and public health needs derived from covid-19.  

Under the patronage programmes between the bank and universities, the institutions will be using bank funds to support students who start to fight the pandemic's economic and social effects. Funds will be immediately released for students who are already in a situation of financial emergency. From September, 1,000 social assistance scholarships will be granted.   

The measures also include buying computers and IT equipment to ensure that all students can access remote learning under the best possible conditions. This measure will also apply to employees at the institutions, thus promoting home working.  

Regarding health institutions, Santander's funds will enable universities and polytechnic institutes to strengthen their very important role in the fight against covid-19, by adapting their labs to produce tests and by using 3D printers to create the much sought-after personal protective equipment for health workers. Some of these institutions have already launched important initiatives, also eligible for bank funds, such as lending their infrastructures for the installation of field hospitals and to house patients, or housing health workers in student halls.  

Every university and polytechnic institute will also select local measures to be implemented taking consideration of the most pressing needs of their cities. 

Additionally, the bank will create a fund for immediate assignment aimed at accelerating social impact projects linked to covid-19 that are being developed by university volunteers. 

Santander in Portugal currently partners with 50 higher-education institutions and invests more than seven million euros annually in Corporate Social Responsibility.