Last week it was announced schools, colleges and universities can apply for funding to allow students to study and work across the globe as part of the new Turing Scheme.
The programme, backed by £110 million, replaces the Erasmus+ scheme in the UK, and will fund 35,000 global exchanges from September 2021, including university study, school exchanges, and industry work placements. The new scheme aims to improve social mobility, targeting students from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas which did not previously have many students benefiting from Erasmus+, making life-changing opportunities accessible to everyone across the country.
The British Council is looking at areas that have traditionally not engaged with Erasmus to help promote the scheme and improve take-up.
The Turing scheme offers benefits to students that they would not have under the previous Erasmus+ programme, with university students from disadvantaged backgrounds set to receive a maximum of £490 per month towards living costs (currently worth around 573 euros compared to 540 under Erasmus), alongside travel funding, and other forms of additional funding to offset the cost of passports, visas and insurance.
Unlike the Erasmus+ Scheme, which is EU-focused, the Turing Scheme is a truly global programme, and every country in the world is eligible to partner with UK universities, schools and colleges.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:
“The Turing Scheme is a truly global programme with every country in the world eligible to partner with UK universities, schools and colleges.
“It is also levelling up in action, as the scheme seeks to help students of all income groups from across the country experience fantastic education opportunities in any country they choose.”
Education Minister and Chichester’s MP, Gillian Keegan said:
“The programme’s focus on social mobility will open up more opportunities for international education and travel to all of our students, especially for those from disadvantaged backgrounds who were less likely to benefit from the previous EU scheme, and will enable up to 35,000 students throughout the UK to work or study across the globe.
“I urge all universities, schools and colleges from all corners of the UK to start their applications and partner up with countries worldwide.”
To mark the launch Gillian visited Lincon College to hear about their plans to encourage students to study and gain work experience in a wide range of industries including childcare, engineering and defence. The college already has well established international links for students to do work experience abroad. Sophie, who was on the call, shared her experiences with the Minister having worked in childcare in the Netherlands, an experience that was described as life-changing and that gave her more confidence as she learnt about other approaches to practising childcare.
Other Education Ministers visited the devolved nations too, highlighting the advantages of the Turing scheme and ensure wider participation for all students across the UK. Universities Minister Michelle Donelan visited Cardiff University and Edinburgh University to discuss the bidding process including how to demonstrate widening access to more disadvantaged students as part of the application process.
UK organisations are encouraged to form partnerships across the globe, not just the EU. The Turing website includes the programme guide, funding levels and eligibility, and details of webinars available to help inform applications.