UK unveils plan for all students to study and work worldwideWorld | 12 Mar 2021 1:58 pm
A new exchange scheme enabling students to study or work anywhere in the world, replacing one withdrawn now the UK has left the European Union, is being launched by the government.
From September, the Turing scheme – hailed as "fantastic" by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Commons this week – will fund 35,000 exchanges including university study, school exchanges and work placements.
The £110 million program replaces the Erasmus+ scheme, which Johnson initially pledged to keep the UK signed up to after Brexit, but failed to include in his EU withdrawal agreement.
The big difference between the two schemes is that Turing aims to improve social mobility by targeting students from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas that did not previously have many students benefiting from Erasmus+.
And unlike Erasmus+, which is EU-focused, Turing will be a worldwide program – with every country in the world eligible to partner with UK universities, schools and colleges, the government insists.
"The Turing scheme is a truly global program with every country in the world eligible to partner with UK universities, schools and colleges," Johnson said ahead of the launch.
"It is also levelling up in action. Unlike the Erasmus+ scheme, which overwhelmingly went to children from better-off homes, the Turing project is designed to help students across the country of all income groups get to fantastic schools, colleges and universities around the world."
The new scheme is named after Alan Turing, the English mathematician and computer scientist who died in 1954 - and, despite his accomplishments, was never fully recognised during his lifetime due to homophobia.
During negotiations with Brussels last year, Johnson said the UK could not justify in staying in the "extremely expensive" Erasmus+ scheme, which saw twice as many EU students coming to the UK as British students going to university elsewhere in the bloc.
But challenged in the Commons this week on the withdrawal of Erasmus+ from UK students, Johnson, said: "I think students should choose the Turing project because it's fantastic and it reaches out across the whole country."-Photo: Sky News