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Thank you, Santander!

From left to right: Amber Ward, Silvia Ventura, Matt Hutnell (Director of Santander Universities UK), Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone, FRSE, Alex McGregor, Alice Bujega at a signing event in October 2019

Santander Universities – long term philanthropic supporters of the University of St Andrews – have recognised the significant financial impact that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on St Andrews and the other 84 university partners within its UK network. To ensure that its funding is reaching areas of most serious need, Santander has diverted £100,000 to the Principal’s Strategic Response Fund – part of the St Andrews Covid-19 Appeal.

This fund will be administered by the Principal as necessary to support key operations and programmes at this exceptional time; from supporting key research and the student experience to assisting our vital local community.

Santander’s response is set within the context of an impressive commitment to higher education in the UK and around the world over the past ten years. During this period, Santander Universities has supported the University of St Andrews with over £1.3 million in funding.

This support has focused on three areas – Education, Employability and Entrepreneurship – and has allowed the University to provide scholarships for the most deserving students, create internship and travel opportunities to enhance student employability, and provide funding to encourage innovation and promote entrepreneurial activity.

Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said:

“This commitment represents an understanding of the disruption that the pandemic has brought for our students and the University as a whole. Throughout the history of our partnership, Santander Universities have consistently provided opportunities and support to students who will benefit from them the most; this latest investment is no different. We are exceptionally grateful for Santander Universities’ recognition and support, which will ensure that St Andrews and its students continue to flourish”.

Jamie Rodney, President of the St Andrews Students Association said:

“We know from speaking to students that, on top of health fears, many are facing an incredible strain on their finances. Part-time work in bars, restaurants and shops has disappeared overnight. Many students have had to make emergency travel arrangements and are now out of pocket by thousands of pounds. Online learning is a challenge without access to computer equipment and our postgraduate research students are now uncertain as to how they will fund an extended period of study. The support from Santander Universities, as well as other friends and alumni, will be a huge relief to our students”.

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities, said:

“Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK so we’re pleased that our funding is able to be re-directed to the University of St Andrews Principal’s Strategic Response Fund which will enable us to continue supporting students and the wider university community through this challenging time.”

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