New scheme will open up opportunities for disadvantaged students

Schools, colleges and universities can now 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 which 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 Secretary, Gavin Williamson said:

“This is a landmark step in delivering on our promise to level up a truly global Britain, strengthening our ties across the world and providing students with the skills they need to thrive.

“The programme’s focus on social mobility and value for money 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

“I urge all universities, schools and colleges from all corners of the UK to start their applications and partner up with countries worldwide.”

Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan said:

“The Turing scheme will support our levelling up agenda by opening up the world to young people and children from all backgrounds with exciting global opportunities.

“The scheme will enable up to 35,000 students throughout the UK to work or study across the globe.”

As part of the UK-wide launch, Education Ministers are visiting the devolved nations today to highlight the advantages of the Turing scheme and ensure wider participation for all students across the UK.

In support of the launch, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan will visit 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.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb and Apprenticeships Minister Gillian Keegan will visit educational settings in areas that have not previously benefitted from Erasmus+. Applicants from schools and colleges are encouraged, with funding levels and eligibility set out in programme guides available to help inform applications.

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.

Successful applications will receive funding for administering the scheme and students taking part will receive grants to help them with the costs of their international experience. The benefits of the exchanges will be assessed and the findings used to build on future schemes. Funding decisions for subsequent years will be subject to future spending reviews.

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