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Top rowers and Latin American students benefit from Reading-Santander Universities partnership – University of Reading

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Top rowers and Latin American students benefit from Reading-Santander Universities partnership

Release Date 13 December 2012

Rowers from RUBC with Sir David Bell and Luis Juste

Students at the University of Reading will benefit from a £120,000 funding boost through a partnership with Santander, through its Santander Universities Global Division.

The three-year agreement will set up new scholarships for students from Colombia, Brazil and Mexico to study in Reading, funding for the University's rowers to train at an elite venue in Spain, and cash for a business start-up boot camp for students and local people with big business ideas.

The agreement was signed by the Vice-Chancellor of Reading, Sir David Bell, and Luis Juste, Director Santander Universities UK, at a ceremony held at the University's Carrington Building yesterday (12 December).

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said:  "This is a superb link-up between the University of Reading and Santander Universities that will bring real benefits to students, staff and the local community.

"This partnership makes the most of some the University's existing strengths. We're already a global university, with more than 6,000 students from outside the UK and a new campus opening in Malaysia. This scheme will add to our growing international outlook. We're also delighted that this agreement will combine Santander's experience backing business with our own expertise in preparing students for life after university with work-related and entrepreneurship skills - as well as helping to prepare the Olympic rowing champions of the future."

Luis Juste, Santander Universities Director in the UK, said: "Today is a day for celebration at Santander as Reading joins the over 1,000 partners of Santander Universities. Reading excels not only in teaching but is also a research-intensive institution that has received high praises for its work in the past few years. In addition, its international spirit and cutting edge approach were just two of the reasons why we wanted to sign this agreement with Reading."

The event finished with a reception where both parties discussed the opportunities that this new partnership will bring in the next three years.

The signing ceremony in Reading was attended by members of Santander and the University, including rowers from the University's boat club (RUBC), staff from the University's Henley Business School Centre for Entrepreneurship, and existing Reading students and staff with Latin American connections.

Santander, through its Santander Universities Global Division has signed 66 agreements with UK universities and over 1,000 worldwide. The funding of higher education has become the Bank's trademark since its inception in 1997.


Notes to Editors

The partnership is worth £40,000 a year for three years. It will help fund three new projects:

  • Four scholarships for postgraduate students (three for PhD researchers and one Masters' degree student) from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, worth £5,000 per year each. (More information on support while studying at Reading, including details of available bursaries, scholarships and other financial support, is available from
  • Santander Elite Training Camp in Banyoles, near Girona in Spain - the rowing venue for the 1992 Olympic Games - an intensive spring training programme at one of the best rowing facilities in the world, for 32 members of the Reading University Boat Club (RUBC)
  • Summer Start-up Boot Camp, a week-long free course for 25 students, local people and clients of regional social enterprises, run by staff from the University's Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship.

About the University of Reading

Ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world (THE World University Rankings 2012), the University of Reading is a leading research-intensive UK university. Reading has an increasingly global outlook, with more than 6,000 students from outside Britain, a new campus opening in Malaysia in 2015, and research activity focused on finding solutions to problems that affect the whole world such as climate change, food security, and health.

Reading is one of the top UK universities for rowing. In the London 2012 Olympic Games seven former and three current students represented Team GB in the rowing, the highest number from any UK university, with two members striking gold. British rowing stars James Cracknell, Debbie Flood, Rig Egington and Anna Watkins are all former or current students.

For more information please contact Pete Castle, University of Reading press office, on 0118 378 7391 or

About Santander Universities

Through its Santander Universities Global Division, Santander has collaborated with universities for more than 15 years on a unique global initiative which distinguishes it from other national and international banks and financial institutions. The bank supports the Higher Education sector in such areas as teaching and research, international cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer, entrepreneurial initiatives, student mobility and innovation. Santander Universities Global Division maintains a stable alliance with over 1,000 academic institutions from America, Asia and Europe. This is a network where universities from all over the world can meet and engage in dialogue. ‘Santander Universities' was introduced in the UK in 2007 and the bank is already collaborating with sixty-six British Universities and Higher Education Institutions, with agreements focused in promoting international exchange, entrepreneurial activities and the mobility of students and researchers within the network.

For more information please contact Carlos Leira, Marketing and Communications, Santander Universities UK,

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