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Bradford becomes part of Santander’s UK university network


Two people sat behind a wooden table with four other people stood behind them smiling at signing event

The University of Bradford has signed a three-year partnership with Santander to help its students kickstart their careers.

A new partnership with Santander marks the University of Bradford as part of the bank’s UK university network, which aims to remove barriers to higher education for students by providing grants, scholarships and internships to students, and funding to budding entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses.

The partnership with Santander includes a £150,000 package of support across the three years providing funding for University of Bradford students across three areas; education, entrepreneurship, and employability. 

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, said: “We are delighted to be invited to join Santander’s UK university network.  

“Santander’s university network has an outstanding reputation for helping students from across the UK and beyond to develop skills and overcome any potential barriers they may have which prevent them from achieving their future career aspirations. 

“We are excited to establish this partnership and look forward to delivering a range of new opportunities which make a positive difference to our students, staff, businesses and communities across the Bradford district.”

Two people sat behind wooden table with a large group of people wearing formal business wear stood around behind them

Through the new agreement, one University of Bradford student will receive an annual grant of £10,000 over three years, as part of the Santander Scholars Programme, which aims to support under-represented students in higher education. 

On top of that, £15,000 will be allocated to support entrepreneurship and start-ups; a minimum of three budding businesses created by students will receive up to £5,000 each. 

The employability strand of the partnership will provide support package includes £15,000 of funding per year. Students will receive up to £1,000 each to help them towards gaining employment, which could be used to fund internships, work experience, and volunteering opportunities.  

The final area of support will be Brighter Future Grants which will provide 10 students with a £1,000 grant each year. These awards will be available to all students at the University of Bradford.

The agreement was officially signed by representatives from the University of Bradford and Santander in April.

Santander’s new partnership with the University of Bradford upholds Santander’s existing association with the city, which is already home to one of the bank’s six UK head office sites. 

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UK, said: “At Santander we are committed to supporting education, employability and entrepreneurship. 

“We have a long-standing relationship with Bradford, which is home to one of our six head office sites.

“We are delighted to be extending our relationship with the city and establishing a new partnership with the University of Bradford. 

“We look forward to working with Professor Congdon and her colleagues to provide opportunities for students, staff, and the local community to develop skills to help them achieve their full potential.”

The new partnership with Santander extends the University of Bradford’s commitment to social mobility. It was ranked first in England in the Social Mobility Index (SMI) for a third year running in 2023. The index, produced by the Higher Education Policy Institute, is a way of ranking universities based on the impact they have on people’s social mobility.


About Santander

Banco Santander has plans to continue to expand its education, employability, and entrepreneurship initiative by investing an additional €400 million (more than $426 million USD) by 2026.

Santander has invested over €2.2 billion in the programme since it was founded in 1996, helping over 1 million people achieve brighter career prospects through education, employability and entrepreneurship and making Santander one of the largest private contributors to education in the world. In 2022 alone, the bank dedicated €100 million and helped over 250,000 beneficiaries of scholarships, internships and entrepreneurship programmes.

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Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2023, the bank had around 19,800 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, 7 million digital customers via a nationwide 444 branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the FCA and the PRA in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Santander aims to be the best open financial services platform providing services to individuals, SMEs, corporates, financial institutions and governments. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising €220 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2030. At the end of 2023, Banco Santander had €1.3 trillion in total funds, 165 million customers, 8,500 branches and over 212,000 employees.