The three-year partnership agreement, the fifth entered into by the two institutions, was signed by Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UK and Professor Ian White FREng, Vice-Chancellor & President, University of Bath.
Santander Universities has funded a wide range of activities at Bath since the University became their first formal UK partner in 2007. This year marks a milestone in the partnership as Santander’s total support for Bath has now surpassed £2 million and sees nearly 300 staff and students benefiting from Santander’s support each year, enabling members of the entire community to go further in their studies, research, and extra-curricular activities.
Professor White says “On behalf of colleagues across the University I would like to thank Santander Universities for their long standing support of our students. This generous new pledge will give students opportunities to enhance their time at Bath in many different ways, all of which will help Santander Universities to achieve their Vision 2020 priorities of Education, Employability and, most excitingly, Entrepreneurship.”
Santander will fund scholarships for students from low-income backgrounds and other under-represented groups, mobility awards to support doctoral students to internationalise their research, internship awards for students taking up internship opportunities at UK SMEs, and a range of activities and initiatives focused on nurturing student entrepreneurship.
This includes the creation of a Prototype Fund to support innovative Bath students in developing and testing new business ideas; an Entrepreneurship Fund that will support students who already have businesses to grow them further, and faster; offering financial support for businesses competing in student competitions such as Apps Crunch and the Business Plan Competition; and providing seed-funding for students looking to work on their own business as a placement opportunity.
Emma Shaw, Chair of Bath Entrepreneurs says “Since taking up my position as Chair of Bath Entrepreneurs, I’ve been delighted to see there’s so much motivation behind a common positive mission to see entrepreneurship and innovation play an even more exciting role in students’ time at Bath. Support from Santander will be a true mover in this; it will enable us to create a coherent funnel of entrepreneurial activities and provide support for students at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Student entrepreneurship at Bath has been generously supported by philanthropy over the years – the Innovation Awards and events like LaunchPad wouldn’t be possible without inspirational donations from alumni and friends; they represent a true commitment to our talented entrepreneurs – and we’re so excited about the investment that Santander Universities is making towards this area over the next three years. It will be truly transformational for fellow students”.
Matt Hutnell says “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK. We are proud to continue our partnership with the University of Bath for a further three years and look forward to working together in providing even more opportunities which will benefit both students and the local community over the coming years.”
Through its Santander Universities division, the organisation maintains partnerships with over 1,200 academic institutions in 20 countries. Santander Universities was introduced in the UK in 2007 and the bank now has partnerships with over 80 universities, providing over £10m of funding in 2018 to support university staff and students.