Santander contributes £4.5million to support university initiatives in response to the Covid-19 crisis

Edinburgh Napier crisis student fund to benefit from donation


Date posted

14 May 2020

11:57

Edinburgh Napier’s crisis student fund is set to benefit after Santander UK announced today that it will be providing £4.5million to its 85 university partners across the UK.

The generous donation will support an array of initiatives launched by universities to contribute to the national effort to combat the outbreak of Covid-19.

Santander, through Santander Universities, has supported higher education across the UK over the past decade with scholarships; student employability initiatives and funding to encourage innovation and promote entrepreneurial activity.Santander and Edinburgh Napier University

With the current pandemic presenting many new challenges for students, universities and the local community, Santander is both repurposing and providing additional funding to ensure immediate support to alleviate health and educational challenges caused by the current Covid-19 crisis.

Edinburgh Napier will receive funding as part of Santander UK’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. Its donation will go directly towards its crisis student funding which helps vulnerable students through the Covid-19 pandemic. So far this fund has helped more than 400 students.

Barbara Kidd, Head of Development and Alumni Relations at Edinburgh Napier, said: “Santander Universities has been at the forefront of the University’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. When the crisis broke its immediate action to repurpose funds to provide emergency support helped ensure we could establish a vital safety net for all students at Edinburgh Napier University. We are so grateful that on top of this it has now been able to provide further support which will ensure we can keep our Crisis Fund open as the lockdown continues and also ensure that this year’s generation of entrepreneurs do not lose the opportunity to turn their ideas into a reality. A huge thank you to Matt and all the team at Santander Universities for truly magnificent support at this critical time.”

The Santander support will also assist universities who are on the front-line of carrying out medical research, providing additional protective equipment for NHS staff as well as supporting student front-line volunteers at local NHS hospitals.

It will also support university emergency hardship funds which provide grants to students who require financial support for living costs or resources for the transition towards a digital learning environment. This includes IT equipment and support, such as laptops and broadband connectivity, which would normally be accessed on campus, to ensure students are able to continue with their studies. The funding will also go towards offering vital support for student mental health and wellbeing during this challenging time.

Grants will also support local SMEs and charities by providing fully funded virtual internship schemes for students and graduates to help businesses affected by Covid-19. Funds will also support student founders in early stage start-up businesses to remain operational in the current environment, particularly as they may not qualify for any other financial support.

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 redirected to where it is most needed at this critical time. Universities are doing some fantastic work to contribute to the UK’s effort to combat the outbreak of Covid-19, so we’re delighted to collaborate with our university partners in a way which increases their response effort and look forward to continuing  to work with them on supporting both students and the broader higher education community with further initiatives over the coming months.”

The funding comes alongside a broader set of initiatives introduced by Santander UK in response to the coronavirus outbreak to support communities. These include a £1miilion donation from the Santander Foundation to Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society to support some of the most vulnerable people in the community following the outbreak of Covid-19 and doubling the work time that Santander employees can claim to volunteer.

Santander UK efforts contribute to the Santander Group commitment to fight coronavirus.