What is the new Turing Scheme and how can university students participate?
Many students were distraught with the news that, with Brexit, the Erasmus programme that had provided so many with fun memories, invaluable learning experiences, and important cultural cooperation, had come to an end for Britain-based students.
After months of wondering if students from British universities could have a similar international learning experience again, the government has finally announced the Turing Scheme .
The government describes the scheme’s aim which is to ‘provide funding for international opportunities in education and training across the world.’ They have also confirmed that over forty thousand students are already expected to participate in the Turing Scheme next academic year, with projects in one hundred and fifty different countries .
So, what does this mean for university students?
The Turing scheme is available to British institutions and their students or recent graduates (who have graduated in the last 12 months).
One of the key differences between the Turing Scheme and Erasmus is that it is not necessarily education-focused. While Erasmus participants usually attended classes, either during term time or summer at a foreign university, Turing Scheme participants can choose from a range of available placements that include education, work experience, or traineeships - which can last between four weeks and twelve months.
Another big difference is that the Turing Scheme allows participants to undertake global experiences, while Erasmus was an exclusive programme for countries within the European Union.
While Erasmus covered expenses, learning planning, and other important issues, the Turing Scheme is a funding scheme only, which means any other organisation needs to be conducted between the partnering universities or institutions.
For universities, the deadline for funding applications was on the 16th of April 2021, so it is likely that your university has already applied on behalf of its students and that you will get contacted about these opportunities soon.
There will be additional financial support for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds or with disabilities or educational special needs, ensuring that the scheme is accessible and inclusive.
While the scheme sounds promising, students should contact their university directly for more information on whether they are eligible, exactly how much funding they will be offered and if they will have any personal expenses, and whether or not they would be allowed to undertake a placement in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.