Santander Universities are gifting over £30k for students at the University who do not have laptops during the Coronavirus crisis so that they can work remotely.
The money will enable those students to now purchase laptops so they can study remotely and not risk falling behind and deferring their studies by a year.
Marta Zadeikaite, a Westminster student who received a laptop, said: “In these uncertain times, I found that focusing on coursework and learning new things has kept me calmer. It has also definitely led to a better quality of work, as I can spend more time on research and planning, all thanks to this laptop!”
Kevin Bardwell, University Relationship Manager at Santander, said: “Given recent events with the global pandemic some of the activities we support through our university partners have unfortunately been cancelled. With many students now facing various challenges following the coronavirus outbreak, we will be working closely with the University of Westminster to ensure our support now goes to those students with the greatest need. Santander Universities continues to be committed to support universities and their communities to prosper through these difficult times."
This is Santander’s 10th year of supporting the University, and a celebration was held in February to recognise their generous support and to mark the continuation of the Santander Universities partnership. Their agreement to provide £184,500 to the University as aid in the continuation of the Westminster Working Cultures (WWC) programme, the Big Idea Challenge managed by the Creative Enterprise Centre and bursaries for students.
The University’s COVID-19 response fund’s key priority is academic delivery to ensure that students entering their final and most crucial term are still able to reach their true potential.
Two important funds have been established to help ensure vulnerable students still stand the best possible chance of completing this year to the highest possible standard. The Stay on Track Scheme provides financial support to students facing immediate difficulty paying for day to day living costs including, rent, food, or medical costs due to current arrangements. The Living Expenses Support Scheme are means tested grants of between £100 and £300, depending on the circumstances, available to home students to assist with longer term financial issues.
Ibrahim Alzaid, University of Westminster Students Union President, said: “On behalf of the University of Westminster Students Union, I am very grateful to Santander and the University for providing funding to enable students to continue with their study who would have not have been able to without the stay connected scheme. Over 100 laptops have been delivered to our members and more are being processed daily by the team within the Students Union”.
Sally Olohan, Head of Student Support and Residential Life, said: “We are grateful that through Santander’s generous financial support, we have been able to help so many students to stay connected with their studies as the University moved to online teaching and assessment.”
Jordan Scammell, Head of Development at the University, added: “Santander’s fast-acting response to the COVID-19 crisis enabled us to respond quickly to the emerging need from those students requiring laptop and internet access in order to continue with their studies remotely. Thanks to the bank’s support, nearly 100 laptops reached students within a week reducing the disruption caused to their learning. We are indebted to the bank for their support.”