The institution has earmarked more than EUR 5.5 million for this programme, which has already benefited more than 10,000 Spanish university students, with special attention to the students who need it most.
Earlier today, the chairman of Banco Santander and Universia, Ana Botín, chaired a virtual meeting of the board of directors of Universia Spain, together with the directors and rectors of the Spanish universities.
“We stand at a decisive moment for the future of our society and it requires us to take decisions; let the crisis serve us all – Spain, Europe, Universities and companies – as a catalyst for sustainable growth in the digital age,” Botín declared.
During the board meeting, the Chairman announced that the next Universia International Rectors Meeting will be held in Valencia in 2023.
Madrid, 12 January 2022
Ana Botín, chairman of Banco Santander and Universia, chaired the board meeting of Universia Spain this morning. Directors and rectors of Spanish universities discussed in depth the concerns and needs of the university community and proposed projects to promote and improve higher education. The chairman was accompanied virtually by the Secretary General for Universities, José Manuel Pingarrón, and the chairman of Crue Universidades Españolas (the Conference of University Rectors), José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, among others.
The meeting took stock of the main milestones achieved in 2021 and the fundamental challenges we face today, including the precarious labour market situation, especially for the youngest workers.
For Ms Botín, in the current scenario, the universities have a significant role to play in three main areas: the adaptation of the supply of talent to the demands of business; the promotion of a technological culture in universities; and the promotion of research and its transfer to the business sector, which is the key to generating ideas that can materialise in future projects creating wealth and employment.
“Universities, in conjunction with institutions and the business sector, have to lead research and the technological revolution that Spain and Europe need. And this leadership and collaboration with companies should aim to develop the talent that enables them to compete.” “We stand at a decisive moment for the future of our society and it requires us to take decisions; let the crisis serve us all – Spain, Europe, Universities and companies – as a catalyst for sustainable growth in the digital age,” she declared.
Ana Botín reiterated the advantages of greater coordination between institutions, universities and companies, together with Santander’s commitment to higher education, to which it has allocated more than EUR 2,000 million over the last 25 years, helping more than 630,000 students, professionals, entrepreneurs and SMEs.
She also took the opportunity to announce that the next Universia International Rectors Meeting will be held in Valencia next year, after that which took place in Salamanca in 2018 with the attendance of 600 rectors from 26 countries, representing 10 million students from all over the world. For three days, the city will become the world capital of higher education, debating the main challenges facing universities.
Success of the Santander Erasmus Scholarships
Banco Santander also announced this morning the renewal of its agreement with the Spanish Ministry of Universities and Crue Universidades Españolas for the development of the Santander Erasmus Scholarships programme, for which it has earmarked a total of more than EUR 5.5 million and which has already benefited 10,000 Spanish university students.
For the 2021-2022 academic year, Santander will award more than 2,100 scholarships and grants, especially for those students who need it most, with the aim of recognising the academic excellence of Erasmus+ scholars and promoting educational inclusion and equal opportunities.
During the meeting, the Secretary General for Universities, José Manuel Pingarrón, stated that “acquiring university studies remains a guarantee of greater probability of professional and work success. Nevertheless, the government must work together with universities to ensure that the design of the courses takes account of the needs of a constantly changing society. In this regard, ongoing training is a key tool for updating the skills of university graduates and the general population, and universities must play a leading role in this, in line with the educational policies of the European Union, ensuring breadth and flexibility to enable necessary lifelong learning.”
Mr José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, chairman of the Crue Universidades Españolas, remarked that universities fulfil a social mission of “the first magnitude, because they attend to the training of future professionals, while at the same time leading research and knowledge transfer”. In this regard, he stressed that, while it is important to meet the needs of the productive fabric, “it is even more important to meet the aspirations of society”.