When the UK finally left the European Union under the Brexit deal, one of the big announcements was that the Government would be introducing its own replacement for the Erasmus+ Scheme. The new Turing Scheme for student exchanges is opening soon.

Over 30 years Erasmus had established partnerships with over 5,000 higher institutions participating across the 37 countries. Students would spend up to a year studying at a University overseas, and the scheme funded the living expenses of the student.

The new Turing Scheme matches the aims of Erasmus and will allow thousands of students to study and do work placements across the world. According to the Government it 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.’

So what is different about the Turing Scheme?

The scheme will be offered to a range of providers (not just Universities) located across the world. The UK Government hope to attract providers from all continents and the Far East.

'Funding is open to UK and British Overseas Territories organisations from across the education and training sector through higher education, further or vocational education and training, and schools projects. Eligible organisations can apply for funding through the Turing Scheme for projects that offer the opportunity to study or gain work experience abroad for the 2021-22 academic year.  

This funding allows organisations to provide students, learners and pupils with the chance to develop new skills, gain vital international experience and boost their employability. They can also develop a wide range of soft skills, language skills and a better understanding of other cultures. Organisations can build relationships with international peers and gain fresh ideas. ’

How much money will a typical masters degree student get?

The amount provided will depend upon the duration of the exchange and the typical living costs of the placement, divided into three groups: -

Group 1 (high cost of living), Group 2 (medium cost of living), Group 3 (lower cost of living). The rates are available below.

For placements lasting between four and eight weeks:

  • To Group 1 destinations: £136 per week
  • To Group 2 and 3 destinations: £120 per week

For placements lasting over eight weeks:

  • To Group 1 destinations: £380 per month
  • To Group 2 and 3 destinations: £335 per month

More will be paid to students from disadvantaged groups.

Who is going to provide the exchanges?

The UK Government is inviting organisations to participate in the scheme, and obviously UK Universities will be encouraged to participate. University Students will benefit most in terms of the duration - four weeks to 12 months. Nationality is not a barrier to entry.

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

Students registered in a UK or a British Overseas Territory HE provider and enrolled in studies leading to a recognised degree or another recognised tertiary level qualification can take part in the scheme.

Funding will be available through the Turing Scheme for placements during the period from September 2021 to August 2022.

These placements can last four weeks to 12 months.’

What happens next?

Universities who meet the criteria to participate will join a database of providers and this will be shared soon.

‘The application process will be a call for bids and eligible organisations will be able to apply for funding from March 2021.  The application window will be open for six weeks. We expect to issue funding decisions in July. The first funded placements will begin at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.’

The new Turing Scheme will have a big impact on student exchanges from now on.

Look now for postgraduate courses on Masters Compare or study funding opportunities on Postgraduate Studentships