Santander pledges nearly $1 billion for university, research projects worldwide

SantanderBanco Santander will invest 700 million euros, about $945 million dollars, in university projects over the next four years, demonstrating the banking giant’s commitment to higher education in Central and South America.

The announcement was made by Emilio Botín, executive chairman of the Spain-based bank, at closing ceremonies of the third Universia international presidents meeting in July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The meeting was attended by 1,103 university presidents from 33 countries.

“It was a dynamic, plural, open, collaborative and innovative meeting that will be remembered forever in the history of the Ibero-American universities,” said Botín, who also is Universia president.

Banco Santander is the parent company of Santander Consumer USA of Dallas, TX.

Of the money pledged by Santander through 2018:

Forty percent, about 280 million euros or $378 million, will provide access grants and national and international mobility grants to students and lecturers.

Thirty percent, about 210 million euros or $283.5 million, will be invested in promoting research, innovation and university entrepreneurship.

Another thirty percent will support academic projects and initiatives aimed at modernizing and incorporating new technology in universities.

Over the last 16 years, Santander has provided more than about 1.2 billion euros or about $1.6 billion for projects at universities and research centers worldwide.

Among the priorities Botín emphasized in his closing speech are for universities to play a significant role in the social, institutional, cultural and economic development of all countries involved; investments, development and innovation directly related to job creation, competitiveness, economical prosperity and social and cultural development; and university-business collaboration essential to effectively use all knowledge in favor of economical, social and entrepreneurial development.

Universia was created 14 years ago on the Internet to serve the Ibero-American community and today includes 1,290 universities in 23 countries and 16.8 million university students and professors.

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