Date of release: Friday, December 9, 2016

Professor David Maguire and Matt Hutnell with students Grace James and Kate DentonHundreds of Greenwich students are enjoying a variety of unique international study and employment opportunities thanks to a partnership with Santander Universities.

The scheme, now entering its second year, is supporting students' academic, career and entrepreneurial interests, with more than £200,000 being pledged by Santander Universities to date.

The latter's global division has worked in higher education for the past 20 years, with a network which spans more than 1,100 institutions in 20 countries.

At the forefront of the scheme are opportunities for students to take part in exchange visits with Santander partner universities across the globe, broadening their educational and cultural horizons. Sixty Greenwich students, for instance, were able to spend two weeks at the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria in Chile.

There have also been numerous opportunities for postgraduate students to spend three months researching at partner institutions around the world,

Student Jonathan Schmid says the visit to Chile was of huge personal and professional benefit. "My wonderful stay allowed me to gain insights into an emerging country's culture and everyday life," he says. "While in Chile, I developed new learning strategies as well as competencies in handling challenging situations when with our diverse group of students or with my host parents."

Delivering a boost to students' career prospects is also integral to the partnership. In the first year of the scheme, a dozen Greenwich graduates completed internships with different companies across London and the south-east. This provided them with insights into a range of of sectors including software development, business consultancy and charities, boosting their skills, knowledge and opportunities in a highly competitive jobs market.

To mark a successful first year of the partnership, the university staged a celebratory event last Thursday (1 December), attended by guests spanning the education and commercial sectors, and hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor David Maguire, and Santander Universities Director Matt Hutnell.

Professor Maguire says: "Our partnership is proving to be of great value. Our students are gaining unique opportunities to experience other countries and cultures, as the visits to Chile demonstrate. As part of this global network, we are sharing knowledge, equipping students with priceless skills, and strengthening our international relationships.

"The internships are also a win-win situation for all involved, giving recent graduates valuable industry experience, but also giving businesses access to the creative and innovative minds of the future. We look forward to seeing some more excellent results as we go into the second year."

Matt Hutnell adds: "The event has been an excellent opportunity to showcase how Santander is supporting the university community. We are delighted to see that our funding through scholarships, mobility awards and internships has helped so many students and researchers since we signed our first agreement in 2015. I have been able to see first-hand the great impact our funding has had on students and staff, and we look forward to continuing to work with the university through investing in education and research."

Santander Universities is also helping students to develop their entrepreneurial skills, supporting the annual Business Plan competition and extending Greenwich's links with experts from the business world.

Two awards were presented on the night. Best Intern was won by Hasna Ali, a BSc Hons Business graduate, while Ansuyah Maharaj, who is in the final year of her Primary Education degree, collected the prize for Student Leadership.

For more on the partnership with Santander Universities: http://www.gre.ac.uk/santander-universities 

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Professor David Maguire and Matt Hutnell with students Grace James and Kate Denton, who are among the beneficiaries of Santander's funding.