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Santander partnership with University benefits research, students and local community

The University of Warwick and Abbey National plc, Banco Santander’s UK subsidiary, are to sign a 3-year agreement that will provide scholarships for overseas students to study at Warwick. Santander Universities Global Division will also support Warwick’s new Institute of Advanced Study as well as the University’s work with its local community.

Under the partnership, The University of Warwick will join the ‘Santander Universities’ network of over 700 universities in Spain, Portugal, Latin America, China, the United States and the United Kingdom. The agreement will be signed on Thursday 20th November 2008 by the University of Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nigel Thrift, and António Horta-Osório, Abbey’s Chief Executive Officer. The agreement will provide:

  • scholarships for postgraduate students from Iberoamerican countries in the ‘Santander Universities’ network,
  • a research grant fund to support research and study visits by Warwick’s academics and students,
  • the creation of three Abbey Visiting Fellowships for eminent scholars and practitioners in Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study,
  • two awards for health professionals from Chile to attend Warwick Medical School’s ‘La Pasantia’ course in primary healthcare management,
  • support for Warwick Volunteers to develop programmes to assist the large Portuguese community in Leamington Spa,
  • three prizes in a competition to identify the best ideas from students for community action projects.

Professor Nigel Thrift said: "I am very happy to be making a commitment on behalf of the University of Warwick to a long-term partnership with Santander Universities. It is a partnership with enormous potential for Warwick, enabling us to offer new opportunities to students and to build exciting research programmes within the University."

António Horta-Osório said: "We, at Abbey, are delighted to be signing this agreement with the University of Warwick. Santander shares a fundamental objective with the university sector: to contribute towards the development and prosperity of society. We look forward to working with a world-class university such as Warwick to promote the exchange of knowledge and foster its international links with Institutions within the ‘Santander Universities’ network.

Photo opportunity: Their will be an opportunity to photograph the signing in University House at the University of Warwick at 9.40am on Thursday 20th of November. Photographers should go to University House reception at by 9.20am and ask for Peter Dunn

Notes to editors:

‘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 universities in Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Portugal, Russia, China, the United States and the United Kingdom. Currently 700 universities are part of the network and almost half a billion euros have been distributed.

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

‘Santander Universities’ initiatives include the granting of over 12,000 scholarships a year to promote study, research and initial professional work experience and bursaries to facilitate student and staff mobility between universities in the network; and aid to 2,500 research groups and projects.

University of Warwick

Among UK universities, Warwick is a unique, and uniquely successful, institution. Despite its relative youth – it was founded in the mid-1960s – it is now one of the UK’s leading universities and is consistently ranked in the top ten UK Universities in UK national league tables. Warwick has an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research and teaching, for innovation and for links with business and industry. In the last government Research Assessment Exercise, Warwick was rated fifth in the UK for research excellence; in the media league tables, it has consistently maintained its position in the Top Ten; applications for undergraduate places currently stand at around 30,000 for 3,000 undergraduate places, and over the last seven years we have built up from scratch a flourishing Medical School.


For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager, Communications Office,
University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL
024 76 523708 or 07767 655860

Louisa Dreja, Abbey Media Relations, on + 44 (0) 20 7756 4211,

PR88 PJD 19th November 2008