The Santander Consumer Bank AG and the University of Bremen recently concluded an agreement for future cooperation. The aim of the cooperation is to secure financial support for expansion of the interdisciplinary “Welcome Center” for international scholars and scientists at the University of Bremen. In addition to this, Santander will finance a total of ten Deutschlandstipendien [German stipends] for students of the University, and a further ten stipends for international students. The funding is in an annual amount of 100,000 euros for an initial period of three years. Santander is providing support for these projects in Germany in the name of “Santander Universitäten”, part of the group’s global division “Santander Universidades”. The bank has been supporting social projects via “Santander Universidades” for 16 years, and in the meantime it has concluded partnership agreements with more than 1,040 academic institutions.
The University of Bremen joins the universities of Heidelberg, Cologne, Münster and the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt to become the fifth German university to be accepted into the circle of “Santander Universitäten”. The cooperation agreement was signed by Prof.Dr. Bernd Scholz-Reiter, Rector of the University of Bremen, Ulrich Leuschner, Chairman of the Board of the Santander Consumer Bank, and Pedro de Elejabeitia, the member of the board of the Santander Consumer Bank, responsible for retail banking. “Santander’s engagement fits well into the University of Bremen’s strategy to make the campus a place of international and intercultural encounter and to open up possibilities for our students to gather international experience”, comments University Rector, Bernd Scholz-Reiter, on the cooperation.
The “Welcome Center” provides international scholars and scientists at the University of Bremen, who currently number about 200, with a comprehensive offer of services and advice, helping them to get off to the right start when they arrive in Bremen and strengthening exchange with their German counterparts. With an annual amount of 40,000 euros, among other things “Santander Universitäten” supports offers for family members accompanying the visiting academics, expansion of the Center’s program of events and excursions, and funding for language coaching. Furthermore, Santander is supporting the “Welcome Centre” by financing a half-position and a student assistant. In 2011 the University of Bremen set up the “Bremen International Student Internship Program” (BISIP) to enable international students to study or undertake research internships in Bremen. The international students participating in the program conduct their research within tandem structures together with fellow German students. The “Santander BISIP” is being supported with ten stipends and ten contracts of employment for student assistants of “Santander Universitäten”, entailing annual funding in a total amount of 42,000 euros. The overriding objective pursued by the cooperation project is to expand the project, the only one of its kind in Germany, and to make the University of Bremen even more attractive for international students.