Banking giant renews support for University of Portsmouth students

The University of Portsmouth has renewed a three-year agreement with banking giant Santander to help students study abroad, start a business and establish academic links across the globe.

Funding worth £120,000 over three years will support Portsmouth students through mobility scholarships and awards and entrepreneurial activities both in the UK and overseas.

The agreement was signed by Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice-Chancellor of the University, and Matthew Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, at the University’s new £12 million Future Technology Centre – an innovative space for engineering and science students to explore new and emerging technologies.

Professor Galbraith said: “As the UK’s number one university for boosting graduate salaries, we have forged strong relationships with business and industry to provide the kind of university education that sets our graduates apart. We are delighted that Santander’s support will continue for the next three years to help our students study abroad, grow their fledgling businesses and take a first step in the job market.”

Mr Hutnell said: “Santander Universities began in the UK back in 2007 through the belief that universities are the cornerstones of modern civilisation. To date, we’ve helped tens of thousands of people prosper within the areas of education, entrepreneurship and employability. The University of Portsmouth has been a valued partner to us for a number of years now and I’m delighted we’re here today to renew that partnership for a further three years.”

In the original three year agreement, Santander Universities provided the University with funding worth £120,000, plus an additional £154,500 through ancillary agreements which meant that more students could be supported.

Students from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences were financially supported in short-term placements and internships in a variety of roles which included; Film Runners, Textile Assistants, Women’s Enterprise Co-ordinator and Project Manager for charitable organisations.

Funding which specifically targeted widening participation and mobility enabled students to both travel to the UK to undertake postgraduate studies at the University and also enabled some of home students to participate in the China Summer School. Students will also travel to the Malaysia/Vietnam Summer School this summer.

One of those to benefit was Graphic Design student Alex Harvey, who founded The Student Food Project to provide recipes, resources and tutorials to university students to help them cook their own meals, thanks to seed funding from Santander and nest, the University of Portsmouth’s startup programme.

Alex said: “If we didn’t have the funding I don’t think we’d be at the stage where we are today. It really was what we need to start testing our ideas, validate our business model and meet the initial up-front costs. It was extremely helpful that the funding was provided through the University and Santander, to be able to take the next step and look to future growth.”

Santander funding has also helped Accounting with Finance student Bridie Bediako to create a concert production company to showcase up and coming artists, musicians and poets at small intimate events.

Bridie said: “It would have taken a lot longer to start the company without the support from Santander. It gives young people like me an opportunity to develop our business skills and encourages us to strive for success.”

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