Disadvantaged students to benefit from government’s Turing Scheme

Disadvantaged students are set to take up the two-thirds of the international study and work opportunities available from September, as part of the government’s flagship Turing Scheme.

Over 40,000 people across the UK will get the transformational opportunity to study or work abroad in the next academic year.

Building on the success of the previous two years, nearly two-thirds of these placements are for people from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds, up from 51% last year, helping to drive social mobility in parts of the UK where historically there have been fewer opportunities to work and study abroad. In Further Education the allocation for disadvantaged students is even higher this year, making up 71% of placements in the sector.

The Turing Scheme widens access to international opportunities in education and training, with more than 22,800 Higher Education placements, over 6,700 school placements, and more than 10,500 Further Education and Vocational Education and Training placements.

Universities, colleges, and schools across the country will be awarded a share of almost £105 million to offer placements to their students, with more applications having been successful this year than ever before and a significantly higher interest in the scheme from colleges and schools, including a nearly 50% increase in the number of successful applications in the FE sector.

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “Once again, this transformational scheme is extending the ladder of opportunity for more young people to experience other cultures and learn vital skills for life and work, regardless of their background.

“With nearly a 50% increase in the number of successful applications and around 1,800 additional learners from disadvantaged backgrounds in the FE sector compared to last year, I am delighted that this scheme is driving social mobility.

“Young people taking part will benefit from inspirational placements around the world that will build the confidence they need for their future, whilst bolstering the government’s ambition for a Global Britain.”

The scheme is open to education providers and other eligible organisations across the UK to provide international opportunities for their students. It forms part of the government’s ambition to create a truly Global Britain. Canada, Japan and the United States are among over 160 international destinations where UK students will be funded to take up work and study placements – alongside popular European destinations like Spain and France.

A group of year 10 pupils from a school in Blackburn were offered the valuable opportunity to spend two weeks in Eswatini or Morocco in May 2022. Pupils from the Hyndburn Academy spent time in lessons with their counterparts as well as undertaking work in the local community, working with the charity All Out Africa to install drainage pipework at a care centre for local pre-school children.

Teacher Rebecca Barker-Rourke said of the experience: “The experience has developed confidence in many of the students and will give them loads of rich examples to discuss in future applications for college, university, apprenticeships and employment.

“We are in an area that is economically deprived, and the Turing Scheme funding means we can offer this opportunity to students that would otherwise never get the chance for a trip like this.”

Leeds Beckett University is one of the successful providers this year and expects students to travel to destinations such as Canada, Australia, and Uganda.

Global Engagement and Relationship Manager Tom Kyle said: “We have seen growing demand for students wanting to gain some form of Global Experience during their studies, and it makes a big difference to be able to offer funding for this, particularly to those students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“There is good evidence that students who spend some time abroad during their studies benefit in terms of graduate outcomes and employability, as well as having a fantastic time overseas. We look forward to building on our student mobility activity and seeing more students benefit from the opportunities this brings.”

The full list of successful organisations including higher education providers, schools, and further education, vocational education and training providers awarded funding will be available on the Turing Scheme website.