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4 February 2008 PR 08/13

‘Santander Universities’ signs three-year funding agreement with Loughborough University

Loughborough, 4 February 2008. Loughborough University and Abbey National plc, Banco Santander’s UK subsidiary, have today signed an agreement that will set up support for students and researchers and enable the University to develop a variety of projects within the ‘Santander Universities’ scheme.

Through its ‘Santander Universities’ Global Division, Banco Santander gives more support to the university community than any other bank in the world. Since 1996, ‘Santander Universities’ has channelled almost half a billion euros into academia through co-operative agreements with 625 universities in Spain, America, Portugal, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Under the partnership, five Masters scholarships and four sports scholarships will be established for postgraduate students originating from the eleven Iberoamerican countries in Santander’s network (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela). Awards will also be made available to enable staff and students to develop partnerships with these countries.

Funding will be given to support the activities of Loughborough Students’ Union’s International Students Association, and the University’s Postgraduate Orientation programme will be developed to ensure greater inclusion of students from all countries and subject disciplines.

The University’s student sports programme will also be supported, with the hockey programme benefiting from sponsorship in the first year of the partnership agreement.

The Vice Chancellor of Loughborough University, Professor Shirley Pearce, said: ‘”We are delighted to be announcing this partnership with Abbey and are grateful to them for their very generous support. Our students will benefit enormously from the funding that has been pledged and the agreement will help to strengthen further the University’s already extensive international links.”

António Horta-Osório, Abbey’s CEO, said: ‘“We are very happy to welcome Loughborough University into the ‘Santander Universities’ network. Institutions like Loughborough play a critical role in today’s knowledge-based societies, acting as beacons on the path to ever-increasing innovation, and exemplars in the transfer of knowledge between academia and industry.”

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Notes to editors:

Information about ‘Santander Universities’.

Banco Santander gives more support to the university community than any other bank in the world. ‘Santander Universities’ Global Division is the channel through which Banco Santander supports the higher education sector in Europe and the Americas in such areas as teaching and research, international cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer, entrepreneurial initiatives, student mobility and innovation.

Since its creation in 1996 ‘Santander Universities’ has been the keystone of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy. Co-operation agreements have been signed with universities in Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Portugal, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Currently 625 universities are part of the ever-expanding network and almost half a billion euros have been distributed.

Santander Universities’ initiatives include:

Information about Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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