Royal Holloway has enjoyed a successful partnership with Santander Universities for 15 years and this has enabled us to offer invaluable opportunities to our students. In October 2019, Santander Universities announced that it would extend its partnership with Royal Holloway by a further three years until 2023, by which time Santander UK will have donated a staggering £1m to the College.
A division of Santander UK, Santander Universities collaborate with a large network of university partners to remove barriers to higher education for students whose ambitions aren’t always matched by their means. The power of these donations cannot be overstated, and they have had an often life-changing impact on more than 300 Royal Holloway students who have benefitted from them. Seventy of our students have been supported through scholarships and more than 60 students have received transformative internships through the support of employability initiatives. Santander Universities’ donations have also enabled us to provide funding for overseas travel and support with entrepreneurship.
The outbreak of the global pandemic this year saw Santander step in with an additional £25,000 to help alleviate student hardship, and offer Royal Holloway the option of diverting remaining funding from the current academic year towards Covid-19 relief activity. This urgently-needed funding has supported at least 30 final year students, giving them access to a special package of additional careers advice, tools and ongoing support as they graduate into an uncertain job market.
In addition, the funding enabled the Student Wellbeing and Advisory service to move quickly to support the increased number of students who faced difficulty in accessing online learning, education delivery and assessments because of digital disadvantage. With Santander’s support, financial assistance to purchase IT equipment and ensure necessary access to wifi has supported student’s academic progression and, in turn, has helped to reduced anxiety.
“We are extremely grateful to Santander for this additional funding which allowed us to act quickly to provide support at such a difficult and challenging time for students,” said Helen Groenendaal, Head of Student Advisory and Wellbeing at Royal Holloway. “The financial support provided has been hugely beneficial in responding effectively to student need, in supporting student academic progression and in reducing anxiety about access to and engagement with alternative online assessments.”