Focus of the two-week course: "Perspectives and Visions of Digital Societies".

Summer school for international students in the form of online workshops. 

Mönchengladbach/Cologne, 28 July 2020 – PRESS RELEASSE 
Yesterday marked the start of the first entirely digital Cologne Summer School. The Santander Universitäten division of Santander is sponsoring this interdisciplinary summer school, which is organised annually by the International Office of the University of Cologne. 

Ordinarily the school requires students to attend three weeks of teaching at the University of Cologne, and allows international students from partner universities from across the world to gain an insight into German university and student life. Because of the travel restrictions in place and the rules on group events due to corona, this year the Cologne Summer Schools are kicking off with a two-week virtual trip.

The 20 participants are currently studying at one of ten partner universities in the USA, the United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, China, the Netherlands, Russia, Argentina, Mexico and Czechia. They will be looking online at a wide range of subjects relating to digitalisation and the impact it has in the fields of law, economics, health, communication and social media, education and politics. 

Franziska Rex, who is in charge of Institutional Relations at Santander Universitäten, greeted the organisers and participants at the virtual welcome session: "It would have been a wonderful experience for our international students to have come to Cologne, of course, but thanks to the creative ideas of the organisation team they will still get the opportunity to participate virtually and to get an online guided tour of the city. I am looking forward to the feedback from this virtual experiment." 

"The perspectives and visions of digital societies are more relevant than ever. It was never an option to postpone the course to next year, particularly given the topic – digitalisation. It is important that we talk about this topic now, and we look forward to trying out new digital tools and methods that give our participants as real an academic and intercultural feeling as possible", comments Victoria Busch, Programme Coordinator.

The primary focus of this year's summer school is to develop digital skills. The online workshops are hosted by teaching staff from the University of Cologne, such as Professor Dr Christiane Woopen, a renowned expert on medical ethics, chair of the European Ethics Council since 2017, and joint spokesperson for the Federal Government's Data Ethics Commission since 2018, and by international teaching staff from partner institutions from the USA, Canada and Finland.

Press contact
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Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and business bank with registered office in Spain and offices in ten key markets across Europe and America. Santander is the largest bank in the Eurozone based on market value. In March 2020, Santander, which was founded in 1857, held assets under management (deposits and investment funds) for 1.03 billion euros. Santander has 146 million customers, 11,900 branches and 195,000 employees worldwide. In the first quarter of 2020, Santander generated attributable profits of 1.977 billion euros, a year-on-year increase of two per cent.

Santander Universitäten is part of the global division Santander Universities, through which Banco Santander has established around 1,200 unique cooperations with universities worldwide since 1996. These cooperations differ from those of other national and international banks: Banco Santander supports academic institutions in the areas of teaching and research, international cooperations, transfer of knowledge and technology, company initiatives, exchange opportunities for students and innovation. For more information on Santander Universities visit For more information on Santander Universitäten in Germany visit

 Santander Consumer Bank AG is one of the Top 5 retail banks in Germany based on the number of customers. It offers retail and business customers comprehensive financial services through a variety of channels. Be it online, via video consultancy or in person in one of its branches – Santander offers a wide range of services and products from current accounts and credit cards, to construction financing and securities. In Germany, the bank is the largest manufacturer-independent financier of mobility and is also leading in consumer goods. The wholly-owned subsidiary of the Spanish Banco Santander has its registered office in Mönchengladbach. For more information visit