Santander Universidades

Goal 4 - Quality eduaction
Goal 8 - Decent work and economic growth
Goal 11 - Sustainable cities and communities

We are committed to promoting education and the development of science, believing that this support will contribute to the development of society as a whole. The most important educational project and also one of the pillars of the #ResponsibleBanking strategy is the Santander Group’s global initiative, the SantanderUniversidades project.

  • GRI:
  • Custom indicator Total amount of money allocated to social causes per year
    Total amount of money allocated to social causes per year
  • ESG: S – Society Our approach to Social Responsibility
    Our approach to Social Responsibility
  • PRB 1 Alignment We will align our business strategy to be consistent with and contribute to individuals’ needs and society’s goals, as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement and relevant national and regional frameworks. We will focus our efforts where we have the most significant impact.
    We will align our business strategy to be consistent with and contribute to individuals’ needs and society’s goals, as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement and relevant national and regional frameworks. We will focus our efforts where we have the most significant impact.

Santander Universidades focuses on supporting:


We invest in education to level the playing field for young people to access quality education.


We educate and inspire people to turn ideas into successful businesses that underpin society’s prosperity.

Young people entering the labour market

We help graduates gain the competences sought by employers and enter the labour market.

Santander Universidades establishments

Live contact with the academic community is our priority. We have twelve Santander Universidades relationship centres at Polish universities. We offer visitors a relaxation area, a networking room and customer service desks. In the centres, our employees cooperate with university authorities and student organisations. Thanks to the ongoing identification of the greatest needs and expectations of universities and students, they meet them by launching targeted initiatives and projects.

Through the implementation of a joint project with Santander Universidades, we emphasize that cooperation between universities and business is possible and that it brings excellent results boosting the professional careers of our students. Scholarships granted by Santander in cooperation with Kozminski Foundation are an important initiative that supports our talented, enterprising and ambitious youth. It is also evidence that students' hard work brings tangible effects.

Kozminski Foundation

The crucial element of our cooperation with Santander Universidadesis the scholarships for which we can apply. They motivate us for development and provide support to the projects we carry out. Another advantage is the possibility to participate in numerous trainings and webinars, which helps to use free time creatively.

Student Council of Wrocław University of Technology

The financial and professional support we receive for our own projects or undertakings gives us the opportunity to achieve a balance between the effectiveness of SKNR Sigma's activities and improving the use of the members' potential. With the help of Santander Universidades we can always do something good! Our gratitude is huge and cannot be expressed in words. Santander is undoubtedly a bank that comes up with a number of initiatives for young people and a wide range of programmes that help them realise their plans and develop at every level of activity.

Sigma Accounting Student Association

Santander Universidades 2020 in figures

  • 1,000

    partnership agreements with universities and educational institutions in more than 22 countries

  • 59

    partnership agreements with universities in Poland

  • 3,283


  • 110 EUR m

    to support higher education (an increase of 56% over the previous year)

  • 1,053 PLN m

    donated to universities for projects

  • 156,000

    scholarships for students and graduates to develop their skills, for placements and to support entrepreneurship
    (an increase of 56% over the previous year)

  • >10,000

    students, graduates, doctoral students and faculty staff registered on the Santander Grants platform

Santander Scholarships

  • GRI:
  • Custom indicator Number of beneficiaries of projects and social initiatives in the field of education initiated and/or supported by the bank and/or the bank’s Foundation in a given year
    Number of beneficiaries of projects and social initiatives in the field of education initiated and/or supported by the bank and/or the bank’s Foundation in a given year

Through Santander Universidades, we have invested over EUR 2 bn in academic initiatives and awarded more than 630,000 scholarships since the programme’s inception. This has led to the Santander Group being recognised as the company that invests most in education worldwide  (Varkey/ UNESCO /Fortune500[1]report)

Santander scholarships offer support during the COVID-19 pandemic

Young people are faced with a dynamically changing labour market, and these changes affect not only the conditions of employment, but also the key competences sought by employers. Last year, we met these expectations in order to make it easier for students and graduates to enter the labour market at this difficult time. In 2020, Santander Universidades, in response to the pandemic, accelerated the development of its scholarship programme with an emphasis on digital transformation. Development programmes were moved to the online world, allowing for a significant increase in the number of beneficiaries.

The choice of themes for programmes for the academic community responds to the needs arising from the pandemic and the changing labour market. In line with the Responsible Banking agenda and the Santander Universidades mission, we support the higher education sector, the preparation of young people for the labour market and entrepreneurship. The platform, which is a global scholarship ecosystem, creates an opportunity to offer not only local scholarships and grants but also those organised in cooperation between the Santander Group and foreign universities.

Wojciech Leśniewski

Director of Santander Universidades in Poland

The change has partly already taken place, not only because the pandemic continues to affect everyday social and university life, but also because the offer of online and hybrid training will become an even more important task of higher education. The Santander Group will continue to support universities in dealing with these and other challenges, enabling them to play a key role in shaping the future of society.

Javier Roglá

Global Head of Santander Universidades

* Creating a Baseline for Corporate CSR Spend on Global Education Initiatives, 2015

#InvestInYourself and #StayHome

2020 was primarily about the two global initiatives #StayHome and #InvestinYourself. Support was provided through intensive online development courses and financial and advisory support:

International development training courses

including Emerging Technologies Programs by MIT Professional Education (a project on new technologies and digital transformation), ESADE Soft Skills Innovation and Personal Management (a soft skills course), Emerging Leaders – LSE (a development course for women in leadership positions) and English for Professional Development with the University of Pennsylvania and Santander British Council Online English Courses.

National projects:

  • Santander Universidades Online Academy, organised in cooperation with the Cracow University of Economics. It was a series of 9 lectures with 18 speakers from the top management of Santander Bank Polska, attended by 800 students from over 70 Polish universities. The highlight of the event was a lecture by the Bank’s CEO, Michał Gajewski. All lectures have been made available to Polish universities for use as part of the teaching process and can be found at
  • National Session of Scientific Circles in cooperation with the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, during which students shared the results of their research. The session was an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills, a chance for the first scientific publication and exchange of knowledge and experience. More information about the project:
  • Training in Renewable Energy Sources Small Hydroelectric Power Plants: organised together with the „RÓJ” Foundation which supports the development of a low-carbon economy and entrepreneurship.

Local programmes for students of selected universities

encompassing financial scholarships and courses offered to students of the University of Warsaw, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Witelon Higher Vocational School in Legnica, University of Physical Education in Warsaw, University of Łódź, Wrocław University of Technology, Gdańsk Medical University, Kozminski University or Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw.

The mission of this initiative [Santander Universidades Academy - editor's note] is perfectly reflected by the #InvestInYoirself phrase. It is certainly a great form of investment and a great credit to the Bank [...] that has created the opportunity for you as students to acquire these competences.

Professor Stanisław Mazur

Rector of the University of Economics

Particularly noteworthy is the Santander Group’s support not only for students and graduates, but also for the faculty staff who have also been hindered by the pandemic in their own education and competence development.

Think globally, act locally

For years we have been helping students, graduates and faculty staff to actively participate in projects on a global scale. There is something for everyone, regardless of age, professional status, educational background or experience. Recruitment for all projects funded by the Santander Group is carried out at website In 2020, over 10,000 people from Poland registered on the platform, which shows how strong the need for personal and professional development is.

Santander X

The Santander Group also supports young entrepreneurs through the Santander X programme.

Various global and local initiatives were launched in 2020, such as the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge, which sought innovative solutions to help mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

The scope of beneficiaries has also been expanded for the first time in 2021, to include new groups affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the unemployed. The aim of the new programmes is to support the development of skills that will facilitate the professional reorientation process. This year, we will offer scholarship programmes in five key areas:

  • digital skills
  • personal development (including soft skills)
  • foreign languages
  • development of leadership competences among women
  • promotion of the most outstanding students.

More about scholar projects

The platform publishes, on an ongoing basis, information about new calls for scholarship projects that we carry out in cooperation with the most prestigious universities in Poland and worldwide.

Santander Universidades

You can read more about Santander Universidades at: All the scholarship projects that the Santander Group offers can be found at and