Professor Rupert Wegerif with Mexican educational researchers Elizabeth Alvarado Martínez, Maria Eugenia Martinez Compean, Josefina del Carmen Santana Villegas and Kissy Guzman Tinajero.

University receives generous support from Santander

The UK arm of Santander, the Spanish banking group, has generously pledged a further £315,000 in support for the University of Exeter, bringing its total funding for the organisation to close to half a million pounds.

The new funding will support exchange programmes for both students and academics, finance PhDs in Hispanic Studies at Exeter and provide bursaries for Year Abroad students visiting Latin America and Iberia. It will also support a Mexican research project involving the Graduate School of Education and two research initiatives in the College of Humanities.

Professor Rupert Wegerif, Director of Research at the University’s Graduate School of Education said, “The support of Banco Santander has enabled us to expand the impact of cutting edge research on improving the quality of classroom talk. A project which we work on jointly with the Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico or UNAM, which is the leading university in Latin America and the largest university in the world. Each year of the three-year project funded by Banco Santander, Exeter academics give conferences, lectures and workshops in Mexico while four Mexican educational researchers are selected through a national competition to visit and work with us here in Exeter.”

The broader community is also to set to benefit with the banking group providing ₤90,000 for the “Campus as a Living Laboratory” project. This environmental programme, which brings together staff, students and local residents, aims to restore natural habitats on campus and create wildlife corridors that link with other green spaces in Exeter.

“We are about to enter our third year of working together and, speaking from the University’s perspective, this has been a very positive experience, bringing real benefits to our students and staff,” said Professor Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor.

“Not only is this support making a real difference now to the lives of some of our most talented students, but it is also an investment in the future - an investment in the real difference to society our students will make as they succeed in business, provide leadership and overcome the challenges of tomorrow.”

As well as Spain, Portugal and Latin America, the Santander Universidades scheme covers institutions in China, Russia, the UK and the US.

Date: 31 May 2011

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