On 24 December 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the UK would no longer participate in the Erasmus+ programme, and it would be replaced by the Turing Scheme, named after the Mathematician Alan Turing.
On 18 February 2021, the Government released a briefing paper on the Turning Scheme.
The paper summarises the background of the programme, including justifications for abandoning Erasmus+ following the UK’s exit from the European Union.
The paper further justifies the Government’s decision to implement the Turing Scheme and discusses the structure of the programme.
The scheme will be backed by £110 million, and will provide funding for around 35,000 participants in universities, colleges, and schools to go on placements and exchanges across the world from September 2021.
Turing Scheme projects must focus on four main objectives:
- Global Britain
- Levelling up
- Developing key skills
- Value for UK taxpayers
Organisational funding will help to cover the administrative costs of a placement, while grants will help to cover the living and travel costs of participants. In both cases, the support available is broadly in line with what was on offer under Erasmus+.
In order to widen access to groups underrepresented in international placements, there is also additional financial support available to participants from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The briefing summaries the responses to the new scheme from devolved administrations.
The Scottish and Welsh governments have expressed their disappointment at both the decision to leave the Erasmus+ programme and the nature of its replacement.
In January 2021, the Scottish and Welsh governments issued a joint statement on the decision to no longer participate in the Erasmus+ programme:
‘The Turing Scheme, funded at £105 million for one year, pales in comparison to Erasmus+, which has now had its budget for the next seven years increased to €26.2 billion. Turing will offer no funding to the international partners that are needed to allow mobilities to take place unlike Erasmus+, where both parties are awarded funding to facilitate the exchange of learners from one country to another. Turing will also fail to support any of the strategic partnerships currently supported by Erasmus+, which help to build relationships with partners in Europe.’
The announcement of the Turing Scheme has been welcomed within the education sector, but there are concerns that the decision not to fund inward mobilities will lead to a decrease in the number of students coming to the UK and the loss of benefits that they bring.
Download the full report here.