20 July 2012
As part of Glasgow Caledonian University’s relationship with the prestigious Santander Universities Global Network, graduates will be offered paid internships with small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) through a new programme to encourage entrepreneurialism.
Eight GCU graduates will be offered a three-month internship place at an SME on a salary of £1,000 a month. The cost will be split 50:50 – half will be paid for by Santander UK and the other half funded by the university, the SME or jointly by the university and the SME.
The initiative also aims to promote the benefits of working for an SME to final-year and newly graduated students while injecting the business community with fresh talent.
The internship programme is the latest development in the relationship between GCU and Santander UK. In 2009, GCU joined the Santander Universities Global Network, which was established by the bank to encourage exchange of ideas, people, knowledge and experience across higher education, especially between the countries of Latin America and Europe.
For the second year, GCU has also been awarded two Formula Santander Scholarships of £4,166 for postgraduate or undergraduate study, plus two new mobility awards of £2,500 each to encourage international education and research opportunities for students and staff.
Last year’s Formula Santander Scholarship award winners were students Shannon Kerrigan, who studied for a year at the Universidad de Huelva in Spain, and Neil McHugh, who used it to fund a research trip to Madrid. His itinerary included attending the Global Microcredit Summit and a visit to the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, where he discussed the potential for research collaboration with GCU’s Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health and gave a presentation to students studying microcredit.
Neil said: “Receiving the Santander Award was fantastic because it allowed me to fund a trip to Spain that has already helped with my current research and will no doubt impact on my future research, study and work ambitions.”
The strategic partnership between GCU and Santander UK has created a range of opportunities for both staff and students to participate in a variety of activities encouraging exchange and interaction with GCU and other member universities in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, UK, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela.
Earlier this month, GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pamela Gillies joined more than 50 UK Vice-Chancellors at the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards ceremony held at London’s Royal Opera House, also attended by Santander UK CEO Ana Botin and David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science.
Ms Botin announced the commitment of £7million to support UK universities and unveiled details of the internship scheme which will be offered to 500 graduates of UK universities in the Santander Universities Global Network.
During her speech, Ms. Botin praised the work of UK Vice-Chancellors saying: “Nineteen of the top 100 universities in the world are British. There is no doubt that the UK is home to the finest higher education system in the world.”
Ms Botin also highlighted the role universities play in economic recovery: “Your ideas, your innovations, your students will drive economic growth. We need you to be the world’s engines of progress and invention. We need you to incubate the enterprises of tomorrow”.
Each year Santander UK sponsors one of the University's annual Magnusson Awards, providing a grant of up to £5,000. These awards were established in honour of the late Chancellor of GCU, Magnus Magnusson and are intended to support researchers in the early years of their career and students who wish to pursue a project or idea that is additional to their academic work. Many of the winners have used their funding to volunteer on charity projects overseas, to work on community activities in local communities or to develop a business idea.