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Santander renews support for Birkbeck students for three years

Santander, the international bank and financial services provider, has extended its support for Birkbeck for a further three years.

The partnership is signed

Santander, the international bank and financial services provider, has extended its support for Birkbeck for a further three years.

The Master of Birkbeck, Professor David Latchman CBE, welcomed Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities, to celebrate the ongoing partnership and sign a new three-year relationship agreement in late January, following on from the initial partnership agreed in 2013. Students and graduates who have already benefitted from Santander’s funding joined staff from Birkbeck and Santander to celebrate this new commitment at the celebration event.

The new agreement will continue to provide scholarships for students from Latin America, and support for the College’s entrepreneurship initiatives within the School of Business, Economics and Informatics. Santander Universities, now in its 10th year, supports and manages the bank’s commitment to higher education, benefiting universities and communities across the country. The bank’s generous funding, combined with Birkbeck’s commitment to the development of its students has achieved great success in the past three years. To date, Santander has supported a range of initiatives at Birkbeck, including the SME internship programme, international scholarships, our entrepreneurship programmes, and widening participation activities.

Birkbeck’s commitment to giving students the opportunity to study in the evening, and encouraging students to study for their career are key drivers behind the College’s Santander SME Internship Programme. Together with Birkbeck Talent, Birkbeck’s professional recruitment service, Santander has already supported 40 Birkbeck students to complete internships with start-ups and small businesses across various sectors.

The internship programme has been instrumental in helping Birkbeck students and graduates to develop skills and gain valuable industry experience through funded internships; this is especially vital for the many Birkbeck students who are career changers.

The SME internship programme has not only been of benefit to students.  Jeanette Purcell assumed that finding an intern for her new small business, the Brain Exchange, would be challenging, if not impossible. To the contrary, Santander’s funding gave Birkbeck the capacity to support her, resulting in the appointment of two talented student interns – both of whom have substantially contributed to the society’s brand and membership.

The partnership with Santander Universities has already enabled students from Latin America to study in the UK through international scholarships, allowing them to build their networks and improve their English whilst getting a world-class education.  Birkbeck has also launched a fruitful entrepreneurship programme and participated successfully in the Santander Entrepreneurship Awards which has directly contributed to the progression of students’ businesses.

Birkbeck PhD student Suzi Godson and her business partner Dr Kerstyn Comley, the founders of the MeeTwo app, are one such example.  The app allows teenagers to post problems, share solutions, and access expert help and education resources in a safe, moderated online space. MeeTwo won Runner-Up in the Technology and Mobile Applications category of the Santander Entreprenuership Awards in 2016 and will soon be available to download from the Apple store after debuting on GooglePlay last year.

Commenting on Santander’s partnership with Birkbeck, Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities said, “It’s a real privilege for us to be associated with Birkbeck. I’m absolutely delighted that our partnership goes from strength to strength and that we are committing for another three years.”

 “Birkbeck and Santander are working together to change lives,” said Professor David Latchman CBE, Master of Birkbeck. “The partnership has helped to stimulate a growing economy, give new businesses a boost, and allow Birkbeck students to support themselves whilst gaining vital education and work experience.

“Birkbeck was built on the belief that everyone should be given the chance to achieve their ambition,” he added. “Thanks to Santander’s funding, students from all backgrounds and nationalities are one step closer to that goal.”

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