Hundreds of students from Royal Holloway, University of London, have benefitted from programmes promoting employability, entrepreneurship and education, thanks to funding exceeding one million pounds provided by Santander, through Santander Universities.
The funding has been received over the university’s 15-year partnership with Santander Universities and has enabled Royal Holloway to support over 800 students through scholarships, internships and other initiatives. For example, the university has been able to provide ten Santander Widening Access Scholarships, which are awarded to new first year undergraduate students from groups which are under-represented in higher education.
The funding has also helped to support Royal Holloway’s Enterprise Hub, which was set up to support the development and championing of a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship within the university and local community. The hub provides all Royal Holloway students with the chance to learn entrepreneurial skills, such as recognising opportunities, developing ideas, leveraging resources and putting plans into action. The money has also gone towards Royal Holloway’s Open Minds programme, which offers short work placements to students with mental health or communication difficulties. The programme offers students the opportunity to develop confidence, communication, time-management and self-motivation skills and was introduced as students with mental health conditions or social communication impairment are currently less likely to progress to further study or graduate-level employment.
Santander Universities create life changing opportunities in the higher education sector which foster sustainability through inclusive and impactful support. Focussing on three key areas – education, entrepreneurship and employability – they aim to create a positive impact on the communities in which they operate.
Professor Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway, said: “We are extremely grateful for the donations we have received a result of our continued partnership with Santander UK.
“Santander’s innovative support in higher education has been hugely beneficial, often offering life-changing opportunities and helping to expand the horizons of all our students.”
Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UK, commented: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK. We’re proud of our 15-year partnership with Royal Holloway and look forward to continuing to work together to provide even more opportunities which will benefit both students and the local community.”
Royal Holloway students who have completed external internships funded by Santander Universities, said:
“It was more than just an internship, although no two days where the same. It provided lifelong lessons which I will take with me for my future ventures like my work ethic and the passion to succeed. I learnt more about the industry and was advised on career progression in my desired field of choice.”
“My favourite aspect of this internship by far was the chance for me to design my own research study from scratch…The opportunity to create this study and use it to gather genuine responses has definitely provided me with invaluable experience in conducting market research that shall help me with future employment prospects.”
“Genuinely, I think I have come out of this placement a different person. Prior to the placement I would be extremely uncomfortable interacting with others once, let alone multiple times a day.”
Royal Holloway students have also been actively taking advantage of some of the many professional and personal development programmes Santander Universities offer. These include the Santander Universities Black Inclusion programme which supports under-represented groups in the workforce and the Santander freelancer scheme which gives up to 250 freelancers a financial grant to complete projects for up to 250 small and medium enterprises. They also offer Student Self Development programmes which give students the opportunity to access an online learning platform with powerful stories and insights from elite performers.