9 October 2023

On 5 October, Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, and Remy Foucher, Santander Universities UK University Relationship Manager, met University of Westminster Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Bonfield to renew their commitment and discuss the significant impact of Santander Universities UK’s support on the University’s award-winning employability projects.

The projects supported through the continued funding include the WENetwork Big Idea Competition, which is Westminster’s annual University-wide student and graduate business idea and innovation competition. The competition encourages students to develop their entrepreneurial skills and to build and grow their businesses or freelance career. Participants can compete in one of three categories including Freelance, Ideate and Accelerate. They can win a share of a £45,000 funding pot and access workshops and mentoring to support their growth. The WENetwork initiatives contributed to the University winning three categories of the National Enterprise Educator Awards last month.

The employability initiative Westminster Working Cultures UK (WWC UK) is also among the supported projects with funding worth £15,000 per year. WWC UK offers students a unique opportunity to learn about the professional landscape in the UK from a range of University of Westminster graduates and partners in various industries. Participants receive a bursary upon successfully completing the programme.

To further their commitment, Santander Universities UK will also provide a scholarship of £10,000 for a Westminster student each year. The scholar becomes part of a community of Santander Scholars, benefitting from corporate connections and networking opportunities. 

Finally, the Better Futures Fund will see ten Westminster students benefit from an award of £1000 each.

The Santander Universities UK delegation went on to meet Westminster alumni, Riccardo Facciolongo and Aram Tufan, who have both benefited from Santander Universities UK funding, and current Santander Scholar Yoka Zinga. They heard about the impact their support made on their projects while studying at the University and explored their enterprise development since leaving Westminster.

Reacting to Santander Universities UK’s continued commitment to Westminster’s employability initiatives, Jordan Scammell, Head of Development and Fundraising at Westminster, said: "Thank you to our colleagues at Santander for renewing their funding for a number of award-winning programmes supporting our students’ employability and entrepreneurial ambitions. We’re proud of this important, longstanding partnership which continues to impact a growing number of students across our institution. It’s great that colleagues at Santander also continue to play a core role in the delivery of some of these programmes. Thank you."

Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, said: “At Santander Universities we believe education is today’s solution to a better tomorrow. We’re proud to continue our partnership with the University of Westminster and provide even more opportunities for students, staff and the local community to develop skills to build a brighter future and achieve their future potential.” 

Learn more about employability initiatives at the University of Westminster.