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LSE and Abbey sign support agreement

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type=image;src=https://cms.lse.ac.uk/cms_files/LSE/intranet/LSEServices/ERD/pressAndInformationOffice/images/LSEAbbey2_478x311.jpg ;alt=Photograph of Howard Davies and António Horta-Osório

LSE has today (Monday 30 April) signed an agreement with Abbey, part of the Santander Group. The financial group has pledged to provide the School with financial support for international scholarships, travel research awards, extra-curricular training for excellence in entrepreneurship, assistance in networking and support in working together to explore introducing smart card technology.

LSE is one of the first UK universities to work with the Santander Group, whose 'Santander Universities' scheme already supports over 500 universities across Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

The agreement will provide support for extra-curricular training in 'excellence in entrepreneurship' through the LSE Careers Service; scholarships for postgraduate students from countries in the Santander Universities scheme to study at LSE; and travel scholarships for LSE students and staff to study or research in one of the ten countries within Santander's network.

In addition, the Santander Group will support LSE in working together to explore introducing smart cards for the university community and in forging links with universities, government and academic institutions involved in the Santander Universities network.

LSE director Howard Davies and António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Abbey, signed the agreement in the presence of Abbey chairman Lord Burns and LSE director of Finance, Andrew Farrell.

Howard Davies said: 'This agreement with Abbey is a significant one for us. It not only provides financial assistance enabling more students from the countries in the Santander network to attend LSE, but also celebrates student entrepreneurial dynamism and offers opportunities for staff and students to gain experience living and studying in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America.'

Abbey's chief executive, António Horta-Osório, said: 'This agreement with LSE is very important for Abbey and the Santander Universities Programme. LSE is one of the leading social science institutions in the world and we are sure that our partnership will greatly contribute to the exchange of knowledge within the Santander Universities network.'




Santander Universities

  • Santander Universities, pioneered by Santander, one of the largest financial groups in the world, is a scheme which establishes various spheres of collaboration including teaching and research, international cooperation, transfer of knowledge and technology, and new technologies, among others.
  • Since 1996, when it was created, the Santander Universities programme has been the keystone of the Group's Corporate Social Responsibility policies. Santander has signed co-operation agreements with almost 550 universities in Spain, America, Portugal and the UK, representing a community of eight million university students. In the period 1996-2006, Santander distributed €400 million to this programme.
  • Santander gives more support to the university community than any other bank in the world, with initiatives such as:
  • granting over 10,000 scholarships each year to promote study, research and initial professional work experience
  • aid to 2000 research groups and direct financing of 40 scientific research and humanities projects
  • 16 science and technology parks in different countries
  • 17 corporate incubation projects in five different countries
  • Santander has issued 2.7 million university smart cards in 195 universities, with a high level of functional and financial features for teachers and students
  • supporting Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library, the largest of its kind for Hispanic works. Its website in Spanish is the most visited in the world (almost 400 million pages since 1999)
  • supporting Universia, the biggest university co-operation network in existence, that now includes over 985 universities.


  • LSE is a world class centre for its concentration of teaching and research across the full range of the social, political and economic sciences. There are around 7,800 full-time students and over 800 part-time students at LSE. They come from 140 countries around the world.
  • LSE has over 1,460 full-time and 1,320 part-time members of staff - 97 per cent of the academic staff are actively engaged in research, and 45 per cent are from countries other than the UK, almost half of these from European Union states, the rest from other nations around the world.
  • The School has around 80,000 registered alumni. Around 30 past or present heads of state have studied at LSE, and 28 members of the House of Commons and 42 members of the House of Lords have either studied or taught at LSE. Thirteen Nobel Prize winners in economics, literature and peace have been either LSE staff or alumni.


Gordon Brown is keen for universities to get close to industry - and some universities are obliging. The latest, the London School of Economics (LSE), has done a deal with Abbey, part of the Santander Group, which will see the finance house giving scholarships, travel research awards and training in entrepreneurship. It will also be helping the economic and social science powerhouse to introduce smart cards for students and staff.

30 April 2007