By Press Office 22 April 2016

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh is delighted to have agreed an impressive new package of support with Santander, through its Santander Universities division which will help the university community ultimately making a positive contribution to society.

The agreement amounts to £195k worth of support over the next three years bringing Santander’s total commitment since 2007 to £700,000. The funding will be used by the University to attract international students, fund research projects, develop student internships and work opportunities, and reward student volunteering within the community.

Santander Universities is one of QMU’s largest donors having provided support for over 250 staff, students, SMEs and charities.

Professor Petra Wend, Principal of Queen Margaret University, said: “We are very grateful for the incredible support offered by Santander Universities. The funding is helping to strengthen our research, improve student employability and bolster our community engagement. 

Santander  Universities community awards are directly in line with QMU’s philosophy of social responsibility by recognising students for their volunteering efforts with charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations. 

“QMU is committed to improving the student experience and providing outstanding opportunities for employability. Santander’s support of internships and work placements is having a significant impact on our students' employment prospects with many securing further employment with the SMEs which have participated in the internship programme.”

This official agreement between QMU and Santander Universities was finalised at a reception held at the University on 20 th April. The event brought together a wide range of students, graduates, SMEs and charities which had directly benefitted from Santander’s support.

Fiona Maclean, Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Queen Margaret University, has been a recipient of a Santander award which has allowed her to share her research findings from her PhD at an international conference in Japan. This allowed her to extend QMU’s international research reach and to connect with international leaders in the specialist field of occupational therapy. 

Fiona has also strengthened the University’s relationship with Alzheimer Scotland by developing a series of internships with the leading dementia organisation in Scotland. This work has led to a strategic partnership between QMU and the organisation, and has had a significant impact on people ‘living well’ with dementia and their families. Importantly, our occupational therapy students’ work with Alzheimer Scotland is helping to ensure that services designed and provided across all sectors of society are shaped by the views and needs of people living with dementia.

Professor Wend concluded: “The support from Santander Universities is not only allowing QMU to enhance the confidence, skills and knowledge of its students, it is enabling staff and graduates to be a positive force within society by helping to improve health outcomes, build businesses and contribute to communities. Ultimately, it is helping QMU develop its aim of being a university of ideas and influence.”

Robin Foale, Managing Director of Santander Universities, said: “Santander’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper. In this regard, our support to universities is of paramount importance, as these institutions play a key role in the development of knowledge and innovative ideas in the communities they are in. Visiting QMU today I have been able to see firsthand the great impact that our funding has had on both students and staff, which encourages us to continue working with this university investing in education and research.”

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Lynne Russell, Marketing Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk  T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 and Jon Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

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