Banco Santander tiene un firme compromiso con el progreso y el crecimiento inclusivo y sostenible de la sociedad, con una apuesta consolidada por la educación superior desde hace 25 años, lo que nos distingue del resto de institución empresa en ser ca ser the world.
This is how Luis Araya, Director of Banking and Institutions Department, defines the social role of this company in the educational field, which currently has cooperation agreements with one thousand and two hundred universities and academic institutions around the world through the Education Support Scheme. Superior (PAES) and since 2005, Santander has awarded more than 290,000 scholarships, as well as 156,748 recipients of scholarships, internships and entrepreneurship programs in 2020.
In Chile, the Santander Scholarship Program has been around for 19 years, during which time we have benefited 4,200 people. In 2020, as a result of the health crisis and restrictions on travel between countries, we suspended this important programme, which we prepared this year by awarding about 500 international mobility grants, in more than 50 institutions of higher education, after receiving more than 5,000 applications. at the national level. Scientists who will be able to travel between January 2022 and July 2023.
Another pillar of our higher education support program is entrepreneurship. In this sense, there is SantanderX.com, a global platform aimed at young entrepreneurs where they can connect with each other and also with key players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, in order to develop projects at an international level.
In Chile, there are 11 higher education institutions committed to Santander X. In 2020, they developed university entrepreneurship initiatives on this platform in alliance with Santander, activating nearly 20 calls and receiving nearly 2,000 requests for innovations with significant social impact.
Another programme, which is in its third edition and is currently in contact stage until September 30, is Ideas X, which this year will reward the best projects in the launch categories, for ideas in the validation stage, and Accelerate for startups. With products or services already on the market.
The future of the country is in the hands of our young people who have the task of taking charge of the world and guiding us towards progress. As Santander, we are convinced that education is one of the most powerful tools we can offer to new generations to meet the challenges ahead and that is why we reaffirm our commitment to this work through the Higher Education Support Program (PAES) that this 25-year-old Luis Araya says.
How did you decide on the topics or themes to shape the various forms of support that the Bank provides to support youth?
Banco Santander is committed to supporting the development of the countries in which it is present, and one of its commitments is to contribute to the advancement of education. Within the lines of business are mobility grants for students and academics, and over the years various initiatives have been added to support innovation and entrepreneurship, such as the Brain Chile project, promoted by the UC Anacleto Angelini Center for Innovation, the College of Engineering and the Department of Transportation and Development at the Catholic University, jointly with Banco Santander which seeks to contribute to the development of new scientific and technological companies originating from institutions of higher education in Latin America.
Is there a greater focus on topics related to financial education?
Education support takes many forms, and financial education is one of them. That is why we are implementing various initiatives such as the Sanodelucas Portal, which provides content for learning and understanding on this topic. An important alliance is the alliance that we have with the Pontifical Catholic University’s Public Policy Center with which we developed the School’s Financial Education Program, which aims to generate information that contributes to the development of public policies that enhance these contents.
Within this, we can add initiatives like Future is Saving, the Financial Education for All course, which has allowed to introduce these topics to parents, children and adults across the country, helping them make more informed financial decisions.
How has interest in this type of scholarship increased during the pandemic? Or how did it affect the Bank’s support for higher education?
There is no doubt that the year 2020 presented us with a great challenge of continuing to contribute to and support higher education. Due to the constraints imposed by the health crisis, the new and urgent needs of the educational community have had to rethink the method of teaching. That’s why we have adapted the benefits we were offering to the needs of the students. During 2020, we have offered connection scholarships, so that students can follow their classes remotely.
Another way has been through the provision of scholarships online, which is aimed at young people and researchers who have been able to participate in courses at various universities and leading study centers in the world.
We can’t help but recognize the impact the coronavirus has had on the Chilean and global economy, but Santander maintains its support for education in all the geographies it’s in, because we’re sure that despite the situations, investing in education is another way to help people advance. .
More about support higher education
Universia in its time was quite an innovative thing, how has this platform evolved to this day? whats up
We are proud to say that we are 20 years old, and today Universia is the largest university collaboration network in the world. Supported by Banco Santander, through Santander Universities, with 1,300 affiliated higher education institutions in 20 countries.
Its strategic axes at the global level are to be a meeting point for directors of higher education institutions; Promote the digital transformation of the university; Support student employability and employability and be a source of academic and career guidance.
Our assessment is very positive: in Chile, in 2020 alone, given the impact of COVID, virtual conversations were held with more than 30 higher education institutions and 140 directors participated. Another example is the implementation of webinars, with the help of 600 managers representing 58 entities.
Added to this is support for digital transformation, embodied through Metared, a collaborative initiative consisting of a network of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) managers from Ibero-American universities, public and private, with the aim of sharing best practices and success stories and implementing collaborative technological developments.
Universia is constantly developing and innovating in its projects, working closely with its partner institutions and always discovering the needs of students and managers. Today its strategic guidelines are: support academic guidance, promote the university’s digital transformation, support first jobs and employability, be a meeting point for the various segments of the university.
How does the Bank support entrepreneurship education?
We have agreements with different universities and their respective fields of entrepreneurship, which leads us to relate to the student community and interact constantly and thus become aware of their interests and needs. On the other hand, we have our own call for university entrepreneurship, Ideas X, which this year has already entered its third edition, where the winners will go to the Santander Global Awards, to compete with the rest of the countries. In addition, we recently launched, together with Brain and Universia, Metared X, an initiative that seeks to promote entrepreneurship in Chile and the region, through entrepreneurship unit managers, through cooperation and exchange of good practices, training procedures, working groups, Collaborative actions, strengthen and improve their capabilities can enhance the ecosystem.
How do you measure the results of your support for higher education in its various forms?
Mainly in the constant increase in interest in applications throughout the time we have been making calls for scholarships. For example, more than 5,000 people among students and teachers applied this year for the Mobility Grant. On the other hand, Universia, within its meeting point activities, has held various talks and meetings with the high participation of managers such as mayors, vice mayors and managers from different regions of partner institutions. During the year 2020 alone, nearly 1,000 managers participated in various activities nationwide. In addition, Santander has agreements with nearly 60 higher education institutions with which it has had a close cooperative relationship for more than two decades, which shows interest and desire to continue working in this field.
In entrepreneurship, there is no doubt that being a promoter of initiatives and support programs, where knowledge is provided, as well as resources, to make ideas grow, is a measure of what we do.
What are the future projects in the field of higher education support?
This year we celebrate 25 years of supporting higher education around the world, and today we are the financial institution that dedicates the most resources to this problem. To celebrate this achievement, we will be launching the 25 Year Scholarship, aimed at the world of technology, in partnership with the University of Chicago. The big news is that these scholarships will be aimed at Banco Santander clients, who are adding up, to share this achievement with them.
On the other hand, Metared X was launched this year, the idea being to help boost entrepreneurship units in higher education institutions in Iberian America. Metared X will be present in eight countries: Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Mexico and Portugal and includes the creation of four working groups: managing entrepreneurship units, entrepreneurship ecosystems, training and education, and finally one of the universities’ indicators of entrepreneurship. In Chile, groups have already been formed and on October 7 the first national meeting of MetaRed X will be held, which is open to all partner institutions of Universia.
At Banco Santander, we also want to contribute to the financial education of the community, through specialized training for teachers, students and their families. Today in Chile, it is important for the population to know basic financial concepts in order to avoid the problems of excessive indebtedness. We are in the process of creating specific online courses, for both schools across the country and higher education institutions.