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.”

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