2 June 2017 14:05

Santander Universities has renewed its funding agreement with Lancaster University, giving a philanthropic boost to the University worth more than £300,000 over three years. 

The new funds, which build on support worth over £640,000 since 2011, will cover scholarships, educational travel grants, entrepreneurship projects and a sector-leading internship scheme which offers students the chance to gain critical work experience with local businesses.

Visiting Lancaster to sign the new agreement, Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities, commented, “Hearing student stories brings alive the great ways Lancaster is using Santander funding.  The international and work experience these students are gaining will be crucial for their future employment prospects.”

Signing the new agreement on behalf of Lancaster, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark E. Smith, said: “We are very grateful for Santander’s continued support and the faith they are showing in us to deliver creative ways to boost our students’ future prospects. We hope for a long and fruitful partnership.”

The signing ceremony was accompanied by presentations to students, alumni and local businesses representing the different categories of support. This recognised the tenth anniversary of Santander’s programme of support for UK universities. Each recipient gave an account of the scheme’s value to their work and study.

Finalist in Law and Politics, Edward Razzell, gained a travel grant for a trip to China trip that has inspired him to start his own social media marketing agency after he graduates.

Earth and Environmental Science alumna, Tarn Brown, gained an internship in 2013 with the Reach Centre and returned to work at the environmental consultancy after graduating. Reach Centre’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Lutwyche, praised the Santander scheme as mutually beneficial. “We get access to highly skilled students and they can add valuable work experience to their CV which in Tarn’s case resulted in a job.”

Student Sam Robinson spent a few life-changing months in Brazil, thanks to a travel scholarship, with time spent in the Amazon on a forest restoration project. “Without this trip and Santander’s support I wouldn’t have signed on for a PhD at the Lancaster Environment Centre. It was a fantastic experience which led to my first ever published research paper.”

During the presentations Matt was treated to a personalised demonstration of mixed martial arts’ skills by Adam Gregory of the Kaizen Academy. Adam, a graduate of the Lancaster University Management School, and his colleagues used an enterprise award to boost the video marketing for their start-up business.