A polar explorer is teaming up with a global education initiative to offer students in Plymouth the chance to gain the confidence to tackle their own future challenges in work and study.
Antony Jinman, Explorer-in-Residence at Plymouth University, is to provide financial help to students who want to attend a renowned leadership programme in Devon - thanks to funding from Santander Universities.
Antony, and former Royal Navy Officer Paul Hart, launched the ETE Leadership Award programme in 2013, in which recruits are put through their paces on a three-day trek across Dartmoor. Participants are required to navigate their route, manage their time and use what is around them to survive the outdoors. He said:
“This partnership with Santander Universities provides a stepping stone for more students to up their game with us by taking them out of their comfort zone. It is just as important to have life skills as it is academic knowledge. Whether it’s wild camping, map reading, working as a team or leading a team, these transferable skills can then be applied in any workplace or future study.”
Plymouth is one of more than 1,100 members in 20 countries to belong to the Santander Universities scheme. A philanthropic project, it funds a range of student-focused programmes to boost employability, personal development and internationalisation. Emma Parker, University Relationship Branch Manager at the Santander branch on the Plymouth University campus, said:
“We work across the University to provide opportunities through scholarships and pledges of financial backing. These students are the leaders of tomorrow and we are delighted to support this particular scheme.”
More than 200 students are already benefitting from opportunities provided by Santander Universities, including Plymouth University law graduate Jasmine Bennett who went on a leadership course last year. She said:
"It was a fantastic opportunity, unlike any other I have encountered and it got me outdoors facing challenges which were far removed from a lecture theatre. The skills I have taken away include problem solving, effective communication and remaining resilient – even when I was freezing cold with no dry socks! It has given me the opportunity to meet so many people I wouldn’t have ordinarily come into contact with and has expanded both my professional network and circle of friends.”
And second year English student Hannah Finch, has been using her newfound skills to plan another trip with Antony.
“From sessions on self-appraisal and reflection to leading a team, I am now applying everything I learned to my studies and am currently working with Antony planning a trip to Baffin Island, the Arctic next summer, something I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do before, or the funds, without the help of the Santander Universities scheme.”