Cardiff Met and Santander renew partnership for another three years



Cardiff Metropolitan University has re-signed a three year partnership with banking group Santander. The agreement will see funding provided by the Bank, through Santander Universities, renewed, and will enable staff and students to benefit from £143k of funding during 2015/16

Santander will fund a range of programmes at Cardiff Met including student and staff mobility projects both within the UK and overseas, entrepreneurship education and student placements within local businesses.

Over the past three years, the Santander scholarship and mobility support fund has successfully financed students and university staff to undertake study and research in the UK and overseas. More than 40 Cardiff Met staff members and students have benefitted from the programme so far with a range of leading research activity and study opportunities being fulfilled across the globe.

Dr Barry McDonnell from Cardiff Met's Department of Biomedical Sciences was awarded a Santander-funded Mobility Scholarship to visit the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in 2015. With expertise in cardiovascular health, Dr. McDonnell's research aims to provide the evidence and understanding needed to inform physicians in regard to cardiovascular risk and side effects during implantation of Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD) in the treatment of severe heart failure. Dr McDonnell's work was developed greatly through involvement with the largest and most advanced LVAD Hospital and Programme in the world. Collaboration between the two universities continues and regular contact is maintained to manage on-going research.

Dr. McDonnell said: "The Santander funding has been invaluable in facilitating a working relationship with Columbia University, which is a world leading institution and operates the World's largest LVAD programme.

"Our team here at Cardiff Met have been able to provide evidence and inform the physiology involved in LVAD implantation. This is clinically relevant, high impact research and our status as a Santander University has allowed us to link in with prominent international academic and industrial partners and export our knowledge globally.

"It is a great honour and a huge advantage for Cardiff Met to be a part of the global Santander network."

Santander also funds individual scholarships to candidates resident in countries within the Santander scheme wishing to study at Cardiff Met. The global Santander Universities network is made up of over 1200 universities across Asia, America and Europe. The scheme signed its first agreement in the UK in 2007 and since then, 80 UK universities have become partners of the bank.

Funding provided by Santander will continue to support enterprise and entrepreneurship activities at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Students have benefitted over the past 3 years from a number of Santander funded programmes managed by Cardiff Met's Centre for Entrepreneurship.

A week-long Flash Fund competition offers students a unique opportunity to submit a one-page pitch to win a share of £1000 for their business. Last year, former SU President Josh Barnett was one of eight students to win a share of the prize fund, which he used to buy a new sewing machine for his fashion clothing business.

Countdown to Launch is another programme supported under the Santander partnership, which offers a 5-day intensive course for students and graduates who are looking to take forward a business idea. During the five days the budding entrepreneurs take part in a number of interactive workshops covering everything from finance and law to marketing and presenting. On the final day, they are given the opportunity to pitch to a panel for a share of £6,000 investment into their business. 

Earlier this year, Cardiff Met's Centre for Entrepreneurship was awarded a Guardian Award for Entrepreneurship for its work in assisting students, graduates and staff to engage in entrepreneurial education.

A wide range of work experience opportunities are now offered to Cardiff Met undergraduate and postgraduate students through the Santander funded internship programme.  Local employers are required to pay 50% of a set salary, with Santander funding the remaining half. More than 50 placements with local businesses have been taken up by Cardiff Met students over the past three years, with more than 80% of assignments leading to full time employment.

Cardiff Met graduate Callam Mccabe, 23, secured a three month Santander internship with UK bike storage manufacturer Odoni Elwell last year thanks to Cardiff Met's status within the Santander Universities network. After completing his internship, Callam went on to secure a funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the firm and as a consequence, is now a full time employee.

Director of Enterprise at Cardiff Met, Matthew Taylor 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 working with local businesses.

"As a University we place great emphasis on employability and our relationships with industry partners are invaluable in offering both staff and students a variety of opportunities to develop business skills. Our partnership with Santander is particularly important and I am delighted that we have extended our agreement for a further three years."

The Santander agreement was renewed at a signing this month by Cardiff Metropolitan University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Antony Chapman and Santander Universities Managing Director, Simon Bray.

Speaking about the continuing relationship between Cardiff Metropolitan University and Santander, Cardiff Met President and Vice Chancellor Professor Chapman said:

"We are delighted to renew our membership of the Santander Universities Network. Over the past three 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 the maximum benefit of all concerned - students, staff and local businesses - to ensure all parties gain the maximum benefit from this prestigious partnership."​