Starting from pre-existing relations among university members and after a preliminary meeting held in September 1988, the Santander Group was established in December of the same year. The inaugural meeting took place in Murcia where the Agreement Document and the regulations for admission of new members were approved. Four years later, in 1992, the Group transited into an Association under Spanish law.
Along with the participation in individual European programmes, SGroup has developed its own independent mobility schemes for both students and administrative staff which provide a flexible framework for exchange over the whole range of subjects and functions associated with its member universities. Some university members of the Group have played an outstanding role in mobility programmes and their participation has been distinguished with European awards such as Erasmus prizes.
The Group has been involved in most European Commission mobility programmes such as SOCRATES/ERASMUS, ALβAN, LEONARDO, LINGUA, TEMPUS-PHARE and other. These exchanges have involved about 4 000 students each year.
Since its inception the Group has not limited its activities to the European Area, but it has developed relations with a number of other regions of the world including the USA (Agreement with the University of California at Berkeley, Agreement with the State University of New York), Latin America (Alβan Programme) and Africa (UNESCO Unitwin Chairs).
The Santander Group participated also in the SIGMA "Group of Groups" European Universities' Network Project with COIMBRA Group, COMNET, EUROMETROPOLE, SANTANDER Group, UNICA, UTRECHT Networks.