Through Santander Universities, the bank supported entrepreneurs and students from the country's main universities in 2020. Worldwide, it has awarded 156,000 scholarships worth EUR 110 million.

8th March 2021 – Santander Uruguay, through Santander Universities, awarded a total of 4,676 study scholarships, internships and grants for ventures for students in the country in 2020. The bank has awarded more than 156,000 scholarships in all the countries where it is present, a 56% increase compared with 2019, investing a total of EUR 110 million.

In Uruguay, the bank supported 4,152 entrepreneurs from the entrepreneurship centres of the University of the Republic (Udelar), the Catholic University, the ORT Uruguay University and the University of Montevideo and also awarded scholarships to 524 students for their university education.

At global level, 48,800 scholarships were awarded to university students and graduates to develop their skills; more than 32,700 to help young entrepreneurs to develop or promote their projects; and over 75,200 for internships and other training and employment advice programmes.

The severe impact of the pandemic and its consequences for education, society and the economy prompted the bank to swiftly rethink the sponsorship it provides to support the university community in the countries where it operates in March 2020. 

To ensure the continuity of studies and the future employability of students, university graduates and young professionals, Santander accelerated the development of its scholarship and grant programme in 2020, focusing on the digital transformation and the social and health needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic.

COVID-19 challenged the ability of universities to continue safely educating and supporting students during the pandemic. In the sphere of education, more than 100,000 people in the countries where it operates benefitted from Santander Universities' actions including scholarships, grants and support for the digital transition, thanks to the more than EUR 30 million assigned to various initiatives such as the Overcome COVID-19 Fund for research, social impact and digital divide reduction projects and grants for economically disadvantaged students and improving employment prospects and professional development. 

The provision of technological resources and online education as an alternative to some in situ programmes by Santander played a key role in narrowing the digital divide. It was also necessary to modify some mobility scholarships owing to the restrictions associated with the pandemic.  

Also noteworthy in 2020 were the grants awarded to vulnerable young people to continue with their studies and the #I'mStayingAtHome and #InvestInYou scholarships to help develop transversal, digital and linguistic skills with the aim of improving the employability and professional development of students, graduates and teachers. Assistance was also extended for the first time to new groups affected by COVID-19, such as the unemployed, with the aim of improving their skills to cope with a job market in the midst of a major transformation.

With regard to Banco Santander's commitment to supporting and assisting young entrepreneurs through Santander X, the bank launched various global and local initiatives in 2020 such as the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge, which sought innovative solutions to mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, and the Santander X Global Award, to identify high-impact projects that needed to accelerate their growth and innovative solutions in the initial stages of business development.

"Part of this change is permanent, not just because the pandemic continues to affect normal social and university life, but also because online and hybrid education will become established as significant responsibilities of higher education. Banco Santander will continue to help universities to deal with these and other challenges, enabling them to continue playing a key role in the future of society", said Javier Roglá, global head of Santander Universities. 

In this way, Santander has continued to demonstrate its support for education, entrepreneurship and the employability of young people as the cornerstones of its support for higher education, with a particular focus on digital transformation in 2020.

For 25 years the programme of scholarships which Santander offers through Santander Universities has been part of its commitment to progress and inclusive sustainable growth and its leadership position as a socially responsible bank. It is also considered one of the most important initiatives of this kind backed by a private entity, which has already invested more than EUR 2 billion in education and awarded more than 630,000 scholarships and grants since it was established.

About Santander
Santander Uruguay began operating in 1982. It has developed a multi-channel universal banking model and is established as the country's leading private bank. It currently has a market share of around 30% in the private banking sector. It serves more than 350,000 active customers and plays a leading role in the card market, offering additional benefits in more than two hundred brands. The institution has more than 40 customer service centres throughout the country.