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Innovative partnership

26 Medi 2008

University is first in Wales to join 'Santander Universities'

Cardiff University is the first educational institution in Wales to forge an innovative partnership with ‘Santander Universities’, a growing international network of higher education institutions, promoted by Banco Santander.

An Agreement of Cooperation has been signed between Cardiff University and Abbey National plc, Banco Santander’s UK subsidiary, that will set up support for students, researchers and entrepreneurs and enable the University to develop a variety of academic projects within the ‘Santander Universities’ scheme.

‘Santander Universities’ Global Division will fund a number of initiatives at Cardiff University, including opportunities for overseas research, study exchange scholarships, funding to enhance student enterprise and student volunteering initiatives.

Under the partnership, initially for a period of three years, three International Excellence Scholarships will be awarded to postgraduate students from the 11 Iberoamerican countries in ‘Santander Universities’ network who wish to study at Cardiff University. The network includes universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.

To further encourage mobility between Cardiff University and Iberoamerican countries, 18 annual scholarships and additional research grants to study or research overseas have been created, enabling students and staff from the Schools of European Studies, Welsh, and Physics and Astronomy to participate in programmes, which would otherwise have been beyond their reach. The Cardiff International Academy of Voice, Cardiff University’s academy to train some of the most exciting talent in world opera, will also benefit from an annual bursary.

‘Santander Universities’ is also supporting scholarships for Excellence and Achievement in Business Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, which will further foster the entrepreneurial culture across Cardiff University’s student community by providing financial awards to encourage student enterprise. A special annual bursary for the outstanding volunteer of the year from Student Volunteering Cardiff has also been established.

Dr David Grant, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, said: "We are pleased to become the first Welsh institution to join Santander’s growing network. This partnership is another step towards Cardiff University fulfilling its ambition to pursue research, learning and teaching of international distinction and expanding our reach in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Working with Santander will provide many new learning and research opportunities for current and future students and staff, and bring enormous benefit to the University as a whole."

Since 1996, through its ‘Santander Universities’ Global Division, Banco Santander has channelled almost half a billion euros into academia through co-operative agreements with 700 universities in Spain, Latin America, Portugal, Russia, China, the United States and the United Kingdom.

"On behalf of Abbey and Santander, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to Cardiff University, the first in Wales to join ‘Santander Universities’, said Lord Terry Burns, Abbey’s Chairman. "We look forward to working in this partnership to promote the exchange of knowledge and foster the University’s international links with the Iberoamerican institutions that are already part of the network."