The Turing Scheme, UK’s new outbound mobility program, got an overwhelming response, with bids far exceeding the estimates. It will allow 40,000 university and school students from the UK to study and work abroad. The £110m programme will cover students at over 120 universities, schools, and further education colleges. Almost half of the places will go to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The scheme was launched after the withdrawal from the EU’s Erasmus+ scheme. It originally aimed to cover 35,000 students, but the number has gone well beyond the initial estimate. Until now, the opportunity was reserved only for the most privileged, but the current scheme will change the scenario. Schools, colleges, and universities in the UK have done their bit to make the programme a success, while their global partners have also embraced the international collaboration opportunity with aplomb.

UK students will be funded under the Turing Scheme to get study and work placements in more than 150 international destinations. These students and vocational learners will bring back innovation and expertise to the country from different parts of the world, including the US, Canada, Japan, and Australia.

While the initiative is to get the funding of £110m, only £96.2m has been approved according to records. England accounts for 84.8% of the allocated funding, while Scotland represents 8.2%, Wales has 5.4%, and Northern Ireland 1.7%. Conversely, Northern Ireland has no approved funding.

The UK government is targeting areas where the Erasmus+ programme uptake program has previously been lower with the hope to enhance social mobility. These areas include the Midlands and North of England, and education providers in the West Midlands will get the maximum funding. The programme’s funding will cover travel and related expenses such as passports and visas. It will also include grants for living costs to address the barriers faced by the underprivileged while studying overseas.

Further, the government expects the programme to enhance the country’s ties with international partners as a part of the post-Brexit vision. It looks forward to helping the new breed of students to capitalize on opportunities beyond Europe’s borders. Students with such diverse international experience are likely to achieve better on the academic and career fronts, which will boost the UK economy in the long haul.

Of the 40,000 placements supported by the scheme, 28,000 are for university students. The number is far greater than the 18,300 students funded by Erasmus+ in the academic year 2018/19. When it comes to the international higher education destinations, the US has the biggest chunk, with 3,911 learners representing 13.49% of placements. China has 1,857 students (6.40%), while Canada has 1,766 students (6.09%).

For school participants, France, Spain, and China are the leaders with 1,150, 883, and 518 participants, respectively. Conversely, the further education and vocational education and training participants will include 1,177 to Spain, 532 to France, and 413 to the US.

Unlike Erasmus+, the Turing Scheme will not fund any reciprocal opportunities for inbound students from other destinations. However, the Welsh government has declared a reciprocal International Learning Exchange Programme worth £65m to fund inbound and outbound mobility.

The Turing Scheme is all set to support recovery in the post-pandemic era as student mobility will be crucial when the world reopens. Not surprisingly, colleges across the UK, including ones newer to international partnerships, are joining the bandwagon to take up all that the scheme has to offer.

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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