Santander Universities Germany cooperates with the non-profit association Corona School e. V.

The basic idea of the association: individual learning support for students during the school closures caused by Corona.

Mönchengladbach/Bonn, 16th December 2020. 

Santander is supporting the non-profit association Corona School e.V. with roughly EUR 45,000 for the next two years through its Santander Universities unit. The platform, developed by students, has offered individual learning support to students at the time of the school closures in the Corona pandemic since the spring of this year.

When the Corona pandemic hit Germany in March 2020, not only did universities nationwide close their campus, but so did schools. A difficult situation for all students, but especially for those who are not used to learn without the guidance of teachers. Reason enough for the four students Christopher Reiners, Tobias Bork, Lukas Pin and Gero Embser to quickly react to the unusual situation in the night of March 15th, 2020 - immediately after the announcement of the government actions, they’ve launched the Corona School platform with sustainable intentions. 

The original idea was to help offset the school closures across Germany by providing digital, individualized, and free one-to-one learning support for pupils with university student volunteers. The great popularity confirmed the four founders: in the first week alone, more than 500 registrations were received on the platform and the participation by other student volunteers was also remarkable. Meanwhile the registered association can show proud numbers: A 54-member team is responsible for more than 13,000 registered school pupils, over 10,500 registered university students, and the constant further development of the platform as well as the conception, organization and implementation of three projects - still on a voluntary basis.

Because the basic idea launched under the slogan ‘#WissenstattVirenaustauschen - Chancen durch digitale Bildung schaffen’ (#knowledge instead of exchanging viruses - creating opportunities through digital education) should be continued even after the schools have opened. Thus, since November 1, educationally disadvantaged students in particular have been supported, as Christopher Reiners emphasizes: ‘The Corona pandemic has further increased educational inequalities. We therefore want to set an example for more educational justice with our digital and free programs and support students regardless of their background, gender and social status.’

When the entire Management Board of Santander Germany heard about the young students' initiative through the Santander Universities division in spring, they didn't hesitate for long and proposed a cooperation with the Corona School. ‘We support students worldwide through various scholarship programs, and in doing so we also want to contribute to greater educational equality. If these young talents want to volunteer to help even younger people in a crisis situation, then that is worthy of all honour, but cannot be implemented in the long term without financial support. The Corona School team has shown in an unprecedented way how, with a lot of commitment and a good idea, you can provide fast, unconventional help, which we are happy to support as part of our social responsibility,’ says Fernando Silva, member of the Management Board of Santander Germany, describing the reasons for the cooperation. 

This also closes the circle to the general support provided by Santander Universities. In addition to covering the ongoing costs for the technical development of the platform and the ‘Digital Teaching’ project, the Corona School is also to receive non-material support. As a pioneer, they now offer the opportunity to complete digital teaching internships via the above-mentioned project, including group courses. Although there are already 38 interns and the internship gets acknowledged at ten universities in Germany, Santander Universities would like to help generate even more awareness among students and university officials in general. The network of more than 230 Germany scholarship holders (‘Deutschlandstipendium’) and over 25 renowned partner universities alone is to be addressed through targeted communication of the Santander Universities area in order to support the sustainable project development of the committed association and also thereby contribute to more educational equality, in accordance with the motto ‘Creating opportunities through education’.