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New programme of business-funded scholarships announced at University of Leicester

Santander announces £175,000 three-year funding package for students and academic staff

Issued on 28 September 2010

Photo Opportunity: Friday October 1 at 11.30am in the Activities Resource Centre in the Percy Gee Building, University of Leicester

Leicester Santander

A new business-funded £175,000 scholarship programme for students is being announced at the University of Leicester.

Santander Universities Global Division has announced the three-year funding programme which includes International Scholarships and Travel Awards for undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff.

The package of funding opportunities will mean that students can receive cash contributions towards the costs of their courses, funding towards language training and for research trips. An internship programme for students from different disciplines is also being developed.

The announcement was made as Santander opened a new branch in the University’s Percy Gee Students’ Union Building following a £15m refurbishment by the University.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess said: “We are very pleased to develop this association with Santander as it provides much needed additional support for our students. We support their educational programme through a global network of universities and are keen to work with them on developing new opportunities for Leicester. We are also pleased to house one of the Bank’s branches in our new Students’ Union Building which will provide a useful resource for staff and students.”

Luis Juste, Director of Santander Universities UK and Portugal, said: “We are delighted to support the educational development of students and staff at the University of Leicester and welcome them to our global network of universities on the eve of their 90th Anniversary. The institution is recognised for its dedication to innovation and nurturing talent, ideals we promote at Santander. I have no doubt that this partnership will be long-lasting and beneficial to all parties involved, bringing a fruitful exchange of academic, entrepreneurial and cultural knowledge.”

Under the new scholarship package, scholarships will be made available for postgraduate students - beginning with the 2010 intake - from any of Santander Universities in Spain, Portugal and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay & Venezuela).

In addition, Santander will provide funds for Travel Awards for undergraduate and postgraduate students and academic staff. It is anticipated that this will be particularly attractive to outgoing exchange students from Modern Languages as well as academics in all departments.

Funding is also available for other projects including, for example, subsidised English language training for incoming students. Spanish language training for non-linguists wishing to undertake an exchange to a Santander country is also available. In addition, Santander has offered five scholarships, of up to £3000 each over three years, for the 2010 intake of Home/EU undergraduates to assist students from low income backgrounds, and particularly care leavers, to fulfil travel ambitions while they are studying. Two International/EU postgraduate scholarships of up to £5000 each will also be available.

Tania Gomez-Zapata from Mexico, who will be studying for an MA in Globalisation and Communications at the University, is one of the recipients of a scholarship. She said:

“I am extremely happy to receive one of the University of Leicester-Santander Scholarships. This support gives me the opportunity to follow my studies which, otherwise, would have been almost impossible. As a Latin American student I feel very grateful to my university and to Santander as they have opened the door for me to accomplish two dreams: to study for a Master’s in the United Kingdom and then to return to my country in order to collaborate in the future of my nation.”

Sandra Gomez-Sanchez, from Colombia, who will study for an MSc in Clinical Criminology, said: "I was ecstatic when I found out that I’d won the Santander scholarship as it has enabled me to further my education at a world-class university. I will therefore be able to advance my career as a Psychologist."

Banco Santander channelled 600 million Euros into sponsorship of academic, research and technological projects in support of Higher Education in the period from 1996 to 2008. There are now 900 academic institutions in Spain, Portugal and Latin America receiving support from Banco Santander including 44 in the UK.

L to R: Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Vice Chancellor of University of Leicester, Dominic Tomlin, Branch Manager, Santander, Alison Brittain, Executive Director, Retail Distribution Santander UK, Matt Hutnell, Performance Director Santander Universities. L to R: Luis Juste, Santander Director UK and Portugal with Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Vice Chancellor University of Leicester.


Note to Newsdesk:

The Scholarships will be announced at a ceremony in the Percy Gee Building on Friday October 1 with the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Luis Juste Santander Director UK and Portugal shall be in attendance.

For more information please contact Steve O’ Connor, Director of Development, University of Leicester on 0116 252 2466


*A member of the 1994 Group of universities that shares a commitment to research excellence, high quality teaching and an outstanding student experience.

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o Winner of Outstanding Student Support award, Times Higher 2009/10

o Named University of the Year by Times Higher (2008/9) Shortlisted (2006, 2005) and by the Sunday Times (2007)

o Ranked 12th in the UK by The Guardian and 15th by The Times out of more than 100 universities

o Ranked in world’s top 2% of universities by the-QS World University Rankings

o Described as Elite without being Elitist by the Times Higher Education magazine

This is Leicester:

About Santander Universities

Banco Santander, one of the largest banks in the world, created ‘Santander Universities’ in 1996 to support the Higher Education sector in such areas as teaching and research, international cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer, entrepreneurial initiatives, student mobility and innovation.

Santander Universities Global Division has signed co-operation agreements with 900 universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

‘Santander Universities’ was introduced in the UK in 2007 through Abbey National plc and the bank is already collaborating with twenty-nine British Universities and Higher Education Institutions, with agreements focused in promoting international exchange, entrepreneurial activities and the mobility of students and researchers within the network.

For Banco Santander, investing in education is the most powerful means of promoting the development and prosperity of society.


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