Swansea University celebrates partnership with Santander with renewed agreement

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Swansea University has signed an exciting new partnership agreement with Santander Universities which will build on the existing support and good working relationship that has developed over the last three years.

Scholarships, travel bursaries, Entrepreneurship activities and internships are amongst the benefits that Swansea University staff and students will receive as part of the new three-year partnership agreement.

The new agreement will run from 2017 to 2020 Swansea University entered into its first partnership with Santander Universities in 2014. The first three-year agreement has had a tremendous impact with a total of around £290,000 donated by Santander which has enabled:

  • More than 80 students to undertake funded internships with local businesses
  • More than 60 members of staff to undertake overseas visits  to develop international collaborative links in research and teaching
  • Additional support to be provided to Swansea students studying, working or volunteering abroad during their degree in locations such as China, the US and Zambia
  • 12 international students to undertake undergraduate or postgraduate study at Swansea University
  • Around 40 students to develop plans to establish their own businesses
  • The development of a virtual reality app, used to promote Swansea University overseas.

The new agreement includes plans to build on the success to date across all areas of activity as well as scoping new areas.

Professor Richard B. Davies & Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UKThe agreement was signed by Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University and Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UK.

Vice Chancellor Richard B. Davies said: “We are delighted to be continuing with our very active and growing partnership with Santander Universities.

“As well as making exceptionally good use of the funding provided so far, we are also delighted with the many other opportunities which have been enabled through the partnership. We are very keen to ensure that this fruitful partnership will continue long into the future.” 

Matt Hutnell, Managing Director of Santander Universities said: "We are delighted to renew our partnership with Swansea University for a further three years. We are committed to working with Higher Education institutions and through our on-going partnership we will be able to continue to collaborate to help both students and staff at Swansea University prosper."

Examples of Santander Entrepreneurships, Funded Internships and Santander Scholars: 

The annual Santander Universities Entrepreneurships Awards competition has created a leadership and enterprise mind-set throughout the University community. Here’s just one example of how an entrepreneurship bursary from Santander has been put to good use:

Alex Stanford is a recent Business Management graduate from Swansea University. His entrepreneurship project, Uni Cribs is an on-line platform where students can take virtual tours of accommodation and review landlords before they move into their student property. Santander’s support has enabled Alex to buy a hosting service and domain name to get the website up and running and has given him the confidence and ambition to keep this project going in the future. Email Uni Cribs.

Funded Internships. In partnership with Santander, Swansea University is creating work placements to help students develop into industry-ready graduates and allow employers to see students in action.

Hannah Dueck, Swansea University Maths graduate undertook a Santander-funded internship with accountancy firm, Bevan and Buckland. She said: “Thanks to my role with Bevan and Buckland, I have developed my knowledge of accountancy, my confidence and communication, computer and organisational skills..’ Lee Bradley, Tax Consultancy Manager at Bevan and Buckland, Swansea said, ‘The placement has gone fantastically well. Hannah is a very intelligent young woman with an extremely good work ethic. She has worked fast and applied common sense so has not needed much help. Next year, if we have any full-time jobs available, she will be back with us.’ 

Hannah has since gone on to obtain a graduate role with Bevan & Buckland as a Trainee Tax Consultant in their Swansea Office.

Santander Scholars. International students Laura, Juan, Cristian and Paolo received Santander Scholarships to study at Swansea University.

International students Laura, Juan, Cristian and Paolo received Santander Schola

They share their thoughts:

 What does it mean to you to have a Santander scholarship?

… the opportunity to study in the UK is a dream come true! You feel extra committed to give the best of yourself in your studies in return for the trust that Santander has put in you.

What has been your learning experience here at Swansea?

…the academic level and learning environment have been excellent. Being in a class with students and teaching staff from across the world gives us opportunities to learn about a wide range of different cultures. Studying in a language other than your mother tongue is very challenging, but I feel I’m not alone in this process.

What advice would you give to people thinking of studying at Swansea University?

…make the most of every moment. It’s a unique experience!

Swansea University has also been engaging with Santander through its Santander Cycles University Challenge, competing against 22 other UK universities to reach the final stage of its bike-share scheme competition.

The six finalists: Swansea, Birmingham, Brunel University London, Surrey and Portsmouth will be taking part in an intense contest to raise funds through crowdfunding campaigns.

The two universities who raise the highest percentage of funds above their initial target will win £100,000 worth of equipment and infrastructure to establish a bike-share rental scheme for their university and community.

The competition, which was launched in March by Santander and partners Nextbike and Crowdfunder, has been built around a revolutionary approach to how bike-share schemes can be funded and sustained within communities across the UK. By combining the provision of resources and consultancy with crowdfunding, Santander is redefining the way that companies sponsor cycle schemes.

If Swansea University are successful, their bike-share rental scheme will launch in spring 2018, bringing with it a whole host of benefits for the entire community. The scheme aims to link the University’s Bay and Singleton Park Campuses, offering 50 bicycles across 100 stations at 5 hubs located along Swansea’s main cycle path.

The crowdfunding campaign will run from midnight on 6 November to midnight on 8 December 2017.