The University has renewed a three-year funding partnership with banking group Santander following a celebratory event to commemorate the successful students, staff and businesses that have already benefited from the funding over the past six years.
The Santander Universities scheme has been supporting the global higher education sector for over 20 years, during which time more than €1.5bn has been awarded to support university scholarships, travel grants and specific projects. Since 2012 Santander has awarded in excess of £690,000 to Cardiff Metropolitan University with more than 400 students and staff benefitting from the funding.
Held at Cardiff School of Management's Hospitality Suite and hosted by the Research and Innovation Services office at Cardiff Met, the event celebrated those who have received Santander funding over recent years and culminated with the Santander agreement being renewed with a signing by Cardiff Met President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cara Aitchison and Santander Universities UK Director, Matt Hutnell.
Speaking about the event, Matthew Taylor, Director of Innovation at Cardiff Met, said: "Having been a member of the Santander Universities network since 2012, we have seen the significant positive impact the relationship has had in terms of student and staff mobility, support for entrepreneurship and collaboration with local businesses.
"The partnership enables us to work together and support students undertaking exciting projects around the world and establishing their own new businesses here in Wales. Cardiff Metropolitan University is proud to be part of the global Santander Universities programme and we are delighted to renew the partnership for a further three years."
To date the Santander funding has supported nearly 400 scholarships, specific product design projects, entrepreneurship activities and a number of graduate internships in local businesses. The scholarships that have been awarded to Cardiff Met students and staff have enabled many introductions to, and subsequently continued collaborations with, individuals and teams from other UK universities as well as colleagues from universities in the USA, Europe and South America.
Two notable students who have benefited from the funding include textiles graduate, Jenny Evans and podiatry medicine graduate, David Barton. Jenny Evans won the 2017 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards after founding textile design business, Jenny Kate (formerly Jenny Evans Design), whilst David Barton established KAYDIAR – a medical company specialising primarily in prefabricated offloading devices that relieve high pressure areas of the body.
Both students have been successful since graduating from Cardiff Met and received further support from the Welsh Government's Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP) which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Speaking about the continuing relationship between Cardiff Metropolitan University and Santander, Cardiff Met President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Aitchison said: "We are delighted to renew our membership of the Santander Universities network. Over the past six years, we have seen examples of how our membership has facilitated meetings with top universities across the world and enabled our staff and students to engage in collaborative work.
"Cardiff Metropolitan University is committed to working with Santander –to ensure our students, staff and local businesses gain the maximum benefit from this prestigious partnership."
Matt Hutnell, Director for Santander Universities UK, said: "Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK. We are proud to continue our partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University for a further three years and look forward to working together in running joint programmes supporting both students and the local community."
UK Government Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, said: "It is great to see that Cardiff Metropolitan University have renewed their partnership with Santander. With more than 400 students and staff at Cardiff Metropolitan University benefitting from the partnership over the last six years, I am excited to see what world-renowned projects and ground-breaking research the partnership will facilitate next.
"Santander's work to establish new businesses, foster entrepreneurship and enable world-wide collaboration is always welcome here in Wales, where the thirst for knowledge and drive for prosperity is second to none."
Kirsty Williams AM, the Welsh Government's Cabinet Secretary for Education, said:
"The support Santander Universities has provided to Cardiff Met University and other Higher Education Institutions over the years is substantial, and I applaud them for their agenda to widen access to higher education.
"The grants and scholarships made available through Santander Universities will complement our student support package, the most generous in the UK, and will provide additional financial support for students, further enabling them to enjoy their university experience and focus on their studies without financial worries.
"It's wonderful to see this partnership continuing for another three years. I'm delighted this support will be available for more students to take advantage of and to further increase access to higher education."
For more information about the Santander partnership and funding, please visit: http://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/business/Pages/Santander.aspx