From education to employment

New £100M Turing scheme launched – new global scheme will replace Erasmus+ participation post-EU exit

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

New Turing scheme to support thousands of students to study and work abroad and replace @EUErasmusPlus 

  • Over £100m new global scheme will replace Erasmus+ participation post-EU exit and stretch beyond Europe  
  • Programme to fund around 35,000 places for students at UK universities, colleges and schools for exchanges abroad in 2021/22 
  • Scheme aims to boost social mobility for disadvantaged students while delivering greater value for money for taxpayers    

Thousands of students will be able to study and do work placements across the world through a brand new scheme that replaces the UK’s participation in Erasmus+.  

The Turing scheme will be backed by over £100 million, providing funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, starting in September 2021.   

The new scheme will also target 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 programme will provide similar opportunities for students to study and work abroad as the Erasmus+ programme but it will include countries across the world  and aims to deliver greater value for money to taxpayers.  

The UK will reap the rewards from the investment, by boosting students’ skills and prospects, benefitting UK employers, and supporting Global Britain’s ties with international partners.  

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: 

“We now have the chance to expand opportunities to study abroad and see more students from all backgrounds benefit from the experience.

“We have designed a truly international scheme which is focused on our priorities, delivers real value for money and forms an important part of our promise to level up the United Kingdom.

“These opportunities will benefit both our students and our employers, as well as strengthening our ties with partners across the world.”

UK organisations will be invited to bid into the scheme in early 2021. 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 to schools and colleges will be assessed and the learnings used to build on future schemes. Funding decisions for subsequent years will be subject to future spending reviews.  

To meet delivery timescales, universities, colleges and schools are encouraged to begin preparation with international partners as soon as possible.   

Universities UK International  Director Vivienne Stern said:

“Evidence shows that students who have international experience tend to do better academically and in employment, and the benefits are greatest for those who are least advantaged.

“The new Turing scheme is a fantastic development and will provide global opportunities for up to 35,000 UK students to study and work abroad.” 

International Education Champion, Sir Steve Smith, said:

“As the International Education Champion, I’m pleased to see that the govt is committed to international exchanges. So much of what makes education so rewarding for all is the chance for students and learners in schools, colleges and universities experience new cultures and, by doing so, develop new skills.

“This scheme represents a sizeable investment from the Government and I look forward to working with the Government to develop a scheme that will make real our commitment to Global Britain.”

Kate Green MP 100x100Kate Green, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:

“Despite promises from Boris Johnson that UK student’s access to Erasmus Plus was not under threat, the government has now needlessly pulled the UK out of the scheme which has successfully increased opportunities and understanding across Europe. It must urgently provide full details to universities, schools, colleges and students on how the replacement Turing scheme will work and ensure that no young person loses out on study opportunities abroad. 

“Young people must not see their opportunities reduced and subjecting the Turing scheme to future spending review decisions will increase uncertainty for organisations and young people.

 “Ministers must ensure the Turing scheme protects the UK’s global standing and status as an attractive study destination for EU and other international students.”

FE and VET funding

Further education (FE) and vocational education and training (VET) funding can give your learners the chance to learn and work abroad. Find out more about the different types of activities you can apply for, who is eligible to take part and how to start your FE and VET application.  

You can apply for funding to send your learners to do study and work placements abroad, which can bring life-changing benefits to those involved.

For your organisation, it is an opportunity to offer your learners a unique experience, as well as developing new partnerships and international links.  

For a participant, it is a life-changing opportunity to get hands-on experience in a new environment that will benefit their CVs. The skills they gain will bring a new perspective to their work and will help them stand out from the crowd.  Applications are open to organisations only, and participants cannot apply directly through the application portal.

To take part in Turing Scheme FE and VET projects, you will need to meet certain criteria. Below, you will find information on which organisations and participants can take part, the length of the projects and the types of activities.

Your organisation

There are different types of organisations that can apply for FE and VET projects.

Your organisation must be registered in the UK or a British Overseas Territory and either:

  • an FE college or school active in the field of FE and VET
  • a local or regional public authority, coordination body or other organisation with a role in the field of FE and VET
  • a company or other public or private organisation hosting, training or otherwise working with learners and apprentices in FE and VET
  • a company or other public or private organisation applying on behalf of a consortium of FE and/or VET providers


FE and VET learners, including apprentices, that are registered at a UK or a British Overseas Territory provider can take part in the scheme. You can send your learners on placements to FE or VET providers or companies abroad for the 2021-22 academic year.

Placements can last from two weeks to 12 months. For participants with special educational needs and/or disabilities, placements can start from five days, where duly justified in the application form.

Those not in permanent education or training, who may be re-training or upskilling, can also take part if their training is taking place through colleges or schools.

You can also send your learners to take part in skills competitions abroad. These can last between one and 10 days.

Learners do not need to be UK nationals to be eligible for the scheme. They can be studying full time or part time.

For participants with special educational needs and/or disabilities, activities can last five days, where duly justified in the application form.

Hosting organisations

You can send your learners to:

1. Any public or private organisation active in the field of FE and VET

2. Any public or private organisation active in the labour market or in the fields of education and training.

For example, such organisation can be:

  • a public or private, a small, medium, or large enterprise (including social enterprises)
  • a public body at local, regional, or national level
  • a social partner or other representative of working life, including chambers of commerce, craft/professional associations, and trade unions
  • a research institute
  • a foundation
  • a school/institute/educational centre (at any level, from primary school to upper secondary education, and including vocational education and adult education)
  • a non-profit organisation, association, non-governmental organisation (NGO)
  • a body providing career guidance, professional counselling and information services

Eligible organisations can now apply for funding. The application deadlines are:

  • HE funding – Friday 9 April, 12.00 noon
  • FE and VET funding – Friday 7 May, 12.00 noon
  • Schools funding – Friday 7 May, 12.00 noon

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