UCL Giving


UCL and Santander Universities UK renew long-standing partnership

17 February 2021

UCL and Santander UK, through Santander Universities, are to extend their long-standing partnership for a further three years, bringing the latter’s cumulative support of UCL’s student community to in excess of £1.5 million.

UCL Quad

The first year of the new agreement will enable the creation of 60 scholarships and awards dedicated to supporting widening participation, employability and innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the university.

Santander’s wide-ranging provision will include 16 mobility awards for students from underrepresented backgrounds and financial assistance for start-up businesses within BaseKX (UCL’s entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross, run by UCL Innovation & Enterprise) and EdTech Labs.

“Santander’s support continues to make a huge difference to encourage entrepreneurship at UCL,” said Jerry Allen, Director for Entrepreneurship at UCL Innovation & Enterprise. “During 2019-20 this resulted in over 2,500 students engaging and created 64 new start-ups which generated 138 new jobs.

“I am extremely grateful for Santander’s support, and particularly proud of the 245 students who participated in the Santander-funded COVID-19 Recovery Competition discovering new social enterprise solutions to our current societal challenges.” - Jerry Allen, Director for Entrepreneurship at UCL Innovation & Enterprise

 Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities, says: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education as well as local communities across the UK. We’re proud to continue our partnership with UCL for a further three years and we’re pleased that our funding has been redirected to where it has been needed most during this challenging time.”

Over more than a decade in strategic partnership with UCL, Santander UK’s support has ensured that the pathway to opportunity reaches beyond UCL’s walls – giving hundreds of students a platform to pursue their studies or further their aspirations and enabling brilliant minds of all kinds to have a stake in shaping our future.

One such beneficiary is grant recipient Rowena Palacios, who experienced disruption to her PhD during the initial outbreak of COVID-19.

“The pandemic upended my family’s plans to move back to the Philippines, creating a slew of unanticipated expenses made more difficult by a cut to my part-time income. Months-long library closures also meant I had to buy books that weren’t available digitally in order to be able to continue my doctoral research,” she said.

“The grant from Santander through UCL’s Emergency Assistance Fund gave my family some breathing room and it’s fantastic to hear that UCL students will continue to benefit from Santander’s support in years to come.” - Rowena Palacios, grant recipient

As a member of the UCL Circle of Benefactors, Santander Universities also played a crucial role in the successful conclusion of the It’s All Academic campaign last year. The Campaign for UCL formally closed in November, having raised a total of £624 million in philanthropic income and 263,000 alumni volunteering hours since its launch in 2016.

The latest renewal will see the partnership between UCL and Santander Universities enter a 13th year, and contribute to the continuation of vital support for students, researchers and entrepreneurs as we move into a new chapter of philanthropy at UCL.