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Banco Santander Supports a New Spain and Latin America Centre at Heidelberg University

Press Release No. 73/2011
18 March 2011
University and Spanish bank signed a framework agreement establishing a collaborative venture
Rector Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel with Antonio Villasante from Banco Santander and the Spanish ambassador Rafael Dazcallar de Mazarredo (from left) while signing the collaboration agreement

Heidelberg University and Spanish bank Banco Santander signed today (18 March 2011) a framework agreement establishing a future collaborative venture. This venture will establish a new Spain and Latin America Centre at the university initiating and coordinating research and teaching projects related to Spanish-speaking countries, particularly in the humanities and in cultural studies. Over an initial five-year period, this project will be funded by Banco Santander via its División Global Santander Universidades, whose activities form the backbone of the bank’s social engagement and support partnerships with academic institutions in America, Asia and Europe. Heidelberg University is the first German university that will join the circle of the so-called “Santander Universidades”.

The agreement was signed by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Heidelberg University, and José Antonio Villasan­te, Senior Executive Vice President of Banco Santander and Director of the División Global Santander Universi­dades. Rafael Dezcallar de Mazarredo, Spain’s ambassador to Germany, and Ulrich Leuschner, CEO of Santander Consumer Bank AG, also attended the ceremonial signing. Further invitees included representatives of scientific and economic relations between Germany, Spain und Latin American countries.

The Spain and Latin America Centre’s (SLZ) work will focus on four different sectors. Alongside the encouragement of academic exchange ventures, the SLZ will also establish cooperations with academic institutions in Spain and Latin America with a view to tackling interdisciplinary research issues collaboratively. The emphasis will be on linguistics and literary studies, with special attention paid to linguistic, socio-economic and cultural aspects of language. On the teaching side, the emphasis will be on the realisation of joint international ventures in post­graduate and continuing education. The SLZ also plans to organise cultural events.

The establishment of the SLZ is largely due to the initiative of Heidelberg scholar Prof. Dr. Óscar Loureda of the University’s Department of Translation and Interpreting (SUED). The new centre will be affiliated with the Faculty of Modern Languages and work closely not only with the SUED but also with the Department of Romance Languages and the Institute for German as a Foreign Language. An important cooperative partner, supported by Heidelberg University, is the Heidelberg Center for Latin America in Santiago de Chile. Traditionally international in scope, Heidelberg University is notable for its research prowess and is involved in a worldwide network of cooperative ventures devoted to research and teaching.

Banco Santander, through its División Global Santander Universidades, has been developing a partnership with universities since 1997. Santander Universidades manages a unique long-term strategic partnership with more than 900 universities in the world. Banco Santander will allocate 600 million euros to finance university projects and partnership agreements with universities for the next five years. For more information on the División Global Santander Universidades, go to

Note for news desks:
Digital photo material is available from the Press Office.


Prof. Dr. Óscar Loureda
Heidelberg University, Department of Translation and Interpreting
phone: +49 6221 54 7230,

Anke Wolff
Santander Consumer Bank AG, Director Communications
phone: +49 2161 690 9041,

Communications and Marketing
Press Office, phone: +49 6221 542311

Editor: Email
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