Celebrating Keele Talent through our Santander Universities partnership

Keele University recently marked the 10th anniversary of its partnership with Santander Universities with a celebratory event attended by students, graduates and businesses who have benefitted from the collaboration over the past decade.

As well as celebrating the programme’s achievements to date, the event also featured the signing of a new three-year agreement between the two parties, meaning that more Keele students will be able to boost their career prospects thanks to Santander-funded paid internships, overseas travel, business support, scholarships and bursaries.

The new agreement will focus on three key areas – education, entrepreneurship and employability – in keeping with Santander’s 2020 vision and the programme’s aim to support students from diverse backgrounds into university, work and self-employment.

Speaking at the event, which took place on 10 December in the new Smart Innovation Hub, 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 Keele University for a further three years and look forward to working together in providing even more opportunities which will benefit both students and the local community over the coming years.”

To date, Santander Universities UK has donated more than £88 million to 86 partner universities in the last twelve years and supported more than 86,000 students since 2015.
The event also marked Keele University’s 500th internship, which was undertaken by Dylan Niwemuhoza. His employers at Optima Warehouse Solutions in Stafford were so impressed with Dylan during the internship that they intend to offer him a full-time role once he graduates.

Chris Roberts, Software Director at Optima Warehouse Solutions, added:

“The Santander internship programme provides a great opportunity for us to get to know the students and vice-versa and, importantly, to see how they could fit into the organisation in the longer term."

Santander internships

Pictured L-R: Rob Simmonds - Deputy Relationship Director, Santander Universities, Trevor McMillan -Vice-Chancellor, Keele Univerisity, Dylan Niwemuhoza - 500th Santander intern who worked at Optima Warehouse Solutions, Matt Hutnell - Director for Santander Universities UK, Terry Dray - Associate Director for Employability and Employer Engagement, Keele University

Terry Dray, Associate Director for Employability and Employer Engagement at Keele University, said:

“We believe that our internships significantly benefit all parties – talented Keele students get valuable work experience that will help shape their future careers, whilst local businesses receive the latest knowledge and skills to develop their products and services and grow as a result.

“Internships which result in permanent positions are not a rare occurrence here at Keele, and it’s fitting that our 500th intern has been offered full-time employment as a direct result of his Santander internship.

“Keele’s partnership with Santander Universities UK continues to demonstrate the value that it brings to the local economy and everyone involved. We are producing some of the most employable graduates in the country, and initiatives such as our internships play a big role in equipping our talented students with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to thrive in the workplace.”

To find out more about the Santander Universities UK programme at Keele University, please visit www.keele.ac.uk/santander. For more information about internships and other support opportunities available to businesses, please visit www.keele.ac.uk/business.