Student Mobility and the new Turing scheme

Thursday 29 April 2021

What is the Turing scheme?

Turing is the UK government’s national scheme for outbound mobility.

As the UK left the EU, the UK government chose not to continue membership of Erasmus+, and launched Turing as a replacement.

Turing will begin in September 2021 and can support placements of between 1- and 12-months duration. It is a scheme that can provide funding through a monthly grant rate for university students going anywhere in the world.

There’s additional funding available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including for travel.

In total, Turing will have £110 million pounds to fund around 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to study and work abroad.

Because of the pandemic, the funding is in place for one year at the moment, but we hope it will become a three-year rolling programme from 2022-2023 onwards.

What does it mean for the University of St Andrews?

Whilst we are very sad to see the end of Erasmus+, we’re pleased that Turing can help to support our students and especially that the way it is designed means it can help us do new things.

We made a bid as a university for funding in April, and we applied for funding to support all of our students who we know are going abroad for credit-bearing semester or year-long mobility anywhere in the world whether for study or work.

We also asked for funding to create some new programmes. These include summer programmes of around 4 weeks’ duration, and short-term postgraduate research trips.

The scheme has helped us to work with some really important partners to design activities that can make a real impact for students who might not normally take part in longer mobility because of personal circumstances, their financial situation, family responsibilities and many other recognised barriers to mobility.

We won’t know the outcome of our bid until July, when we’ll be able to let students who already plan to go on a placement know whether we can provide funding through Turing, and when we’ll hopefully be able to launch applications for new programmes.

Although Turing is designed to fund placements around the world for university, college, and school students across the UK, the range of eligible institutions means it won’t fund everything for everyone, so at the moment we can’t be precise about how we will be able to support our students.

How does it affect European placements?

The Erasmus+ scheme helped us to establish extremely strong partnerships in Europe. We have over 70 European partners built on Erasmus+ links, and some of them have become really rich and multi-layered strategic collaborations.

With Universities like Bonn, we not only run multiple subject exchanges for undergraduates, but we also have Global PhD programmes, joint Masters degrees and run staff exchange, language training programmes and many more exciting projects.

Whilst Erasmus+ gave us the foundations to build these sorts of links, what we do means we have very strong associations and they will last. Just like all of our placements around the world, we will continue to offer exchange regardless of the programme we’re working through.

Even though UK participation in Erasmus+ is not continuing, we are still in the programme until 2023. We have a small amount of Erasmus+ funding and placements remaining, and we will be awarding it to students for the 2021-2022 academic year when we know more about our Turing bid. We’ll keep welcoming students to us on exchange through Erasmus+ until 2023 and we’ll keep working with European partners regardless.

Turing can also fund European placements as well as those around the world, and so we have applied for grants to support students going to Europe who we can’t fund through remaining Erasmus+ funding.

What about the rest of the world?

We know that some of our most popular destinations around the world are expensive places to get to or to live in. Los Angeles, Melbourne, Toronto, Auckland and others can be costly. We try to help students with our own scholarships so that money isn’t a reason not to take part in these fantastic opportunities. These are still in place and we are working to expand what we have.

Excitingly, Turing can now provide monthly grant rates for students to go anywhere in the world, and we hope that we’ll be successful in our bid so we can provide that funding for as many of our destinations as possible.

We have applied for everyone who has a credit-bearing placement, and we have asked for extra funding for travel for people who meet Turing’s criteria for that funding too.

How much will the grant provide if I’m awarded one?

Just like Erasmus+, grant rates are based on a programme assessment of the cost of living in the country of destination. Because Turing can fund placements anywhere, the list is too long to replicate here, but amounts range from £335 to £380 per month.

For shorter placements, if we get funding for them, the rates are £120 to £136 per week.

Students who meet financial need criteria can also receive an additional £110 per month, or £27.50 per week, and a travel amount based on the distance of their destination.

You can see full details on grant amounts here:

What are the new programmes the University has applied for?

We have put in an ambitious bid that not only seeks to support all of our current outbound cohort but plans to start new things across the world for summer placements and postgraduate research trips.

We’re working with partners in around the world, e.g. in Germany, USA, India and also now in China to support our new Chinese Studies programme as well as destinations elsewhere so that we can make short-term mobility a real option for students who might not be able to afford longer placements, or who can’t commit to full semester mobility for whatever reason.

We know that postgraduate research students can’t always leave St Andrews for a full semester, but that short placements can be really beneficial in terms of accessing research expertise, archives, labs or field sites, so we have asked for funding to support these kinds of initiatives too.

We will announce all of the schemes that we receive funding for as soon as we can and explain how you can apply to be part of them.

For more information, take a look at the Turing scheme website:

We will post updates and news on our website as we hear more:

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