UK’s Replacement of Erasmus+: What Should British Students Know About Turing Scheme?

After failing to reach the Brexit agreement with the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom decided to leave the Erasmus program and replace the latter with its own program – the Turing Scheme.

Named after one of the UK’s most famous mathematicians and computer scientists, Alan Turing, the Turing scheme mainly concerns the international study and work placement programs, Erudera.com reports.

More than £100 million have been allocated for the first year of the Turing Scheme, and funding will be offered to around 35,000 British students in universities, colleges, and schools who are interested in studying abroad, starting from September 2021.

At first, higher education institutions, schools, and vocational training centers will be able to submit applications for the Turing Scheme funding. Once their applications are accepted, the scheme will open for all who attend on a full and part-time basis. Those who are not in permanent education and training are also eligible to apply.

Difference Between Turing Scheme & Erasmus

Whilst the Erasmus program covers tuition fees and offers an amount of money in the form of a grant so students can cover their living expenses, it has not yet been confirmed whether the Turing Scheme will offer the same support.

However, it has been reported that different from Erasmus, the Turing Scheme will include placements across the world.

The Erasmus program provides payments to students depending on the country where they are heading to and depending on the participant’s role, whether he/she is a student, apprentice, trainee, or staff.

Under the Erasmus scheme, a university student going to France for six months would receive £317 (€370) per month in the 2020/21 academic year, whereas the Turing scheme will provide £335 (€390) per month to the same student.

Different from Erasmus+ which pays an additional amount of £103 (€120) making up a total of £420 (€490) per month for a disadvantaged student going to France for six months, the Turing Scheme is expected to pay £445 (€519) per month and also cover the travel costs depending on the distance a student is traveling.

In addition, the scheme will also cover the visa, passports, and health insurance costs of applicants struggling financially.

Similar to Erasmus, the Turing scheme will also offer support to students with special needs.

Are Any of UK Students Permitted to Continue Participating in Erasmus?

Students pursuing studies at Northern Ireland universities will still be able to participate in either scheme after the Irish government made an arrangement, whereas students in Great Britain will only be allowed to participate in the Turing Scheme.

Yet, some British students are still joining Erasmus programs using the support which was granted before the end of 2020, meaning that the latter can be allowed to continue their participation until the end of the 2021/22 academic year, but no more new funding will be provided.

Following Brexit, UK students had to face immigration rules in the EU, as UK nationals are permitted to stay in any of the EU countries for 90 out of 180 days without a visa.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said that the international scheme is focused on priorities, delivers a real value for money, and will contribute to an important promise to strengthen the United Kingdom’s education.

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

Whereas, the Universities UK International Director, Vivienne Stern, said that according to evidence, students who have had international experiences are more likely to be successful academically as well as when it comes to employment. She added that the Turing scheme also offers many benefits to those 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,” she said.

16,561 UK Students Joined Erasmus Program in 2017

Figures show that during 2017, 16,561 UK students joined the Erasmus program, and 31,727 EU nationals came to the UK through the same program.

“Since 2014, almost €1bn [£900m] of funding has been distributed to UK Erasmus+ projects, with over 930,000 participants involved,” Jane Racz, the director of the program in the UK, told BBC News last year.

The United Kingdom became part of the Erasmus program in 1987, as the latter offered to its students the opportunity to study and work across Europe.

The UK leaving Erasmus+ is not the only change that came with the UK’s exit from the EU. Due to its withdrawal from the EU, the United Kingdom risks losing £62.5 million (USD $85.9 million) per year in tuition fees, the analysis “EU exit: estimating the impact on UK higher education” by London Economics has shown.

At the same time, starting from September this year, the EU/EEA and Swiss students in the United Kingdom will lose access to British student loans, will lose their “home fee status,” which enables them to pay the same tuition fee as the UK students and will face some restrictions including the right to work after graduation.

Recently, Cardiff University in cooperation with the education and youth sector partners, notified they would develop the New International Learning Exchange scheme. The latter will be launched in 2022, and a total of 15,000 students from Wales will have the chance to study abroad for four years.

Here’s What UK Students Are Expected to Benefit from the Turing Scheme:

Academic Benefits

International experiences included in the CV are of particular importance, especially in the labor market, as employers worldwide are in search of employees who are able to work with people from different cultures as well as to possess language skills.

Becoming Global Citizens

In addition to academic skills, through the Turing Scheme, the UK aims to create more global citizens. Its main focus is to offer students the chance to experience new cultures as learning about other countries’ cultures and getting to meet new people helps students grow as persons.

According to the vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool, Dame Janet Beer, the Turing Scheme will help students and universities in the UK to build a stronger relationship with other students and universities across the world.

Pursuing Studies at World’s Best Universities

Through the Turing Scheme, the most ambitious and hardworking students in the United Kingdom will have the chance to study at some of the best schools worldwide, including Yale, Harvard, the University of Toronto, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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