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UK: Turing “simply fallen behind” Erasmus offer

The UK’s Turing Scheme has once again come under fire during a recent parliamentary debate, with MPs concerned that it has “simply fallen behind” the Erasmus offering.

A recent parliamentary debate on the UK's Turing Scheme took place on September 5. Photo:

Under the new Turing Scheme, students studying apprenticeships can access student mobility programs

Concerns raised during the September 5 debate mostly focused on funding issues existing in the Turing Scheme, which was introduced in 2021 as the UK’s equivalent to the EU’s Erasmus+ exchange program.

Meanwhile, Robert Halfon, minister for skills, apprenticeships and higher education focused on the benefits of the new scheme – mainly to those from disadvantaged backgrounds, apprentices who could not take part in the previous scheme, and UK taxpayers, who he believes are getting a better deal.

Wendy Chamberlain, liberal democrat MP for North East Fife and a fan of the Turing scheme “in principal”, highlighted concerns which have been voiced before in the recurring Turing debate. Criticisms include the scheme’s inability to provide students with the funds they need before embarking on their journey, as well as late payments.

“The official guidance says that decisions will be made in the summer and payments made in September for the new academic year. I did not think we would need to point this out, but not all countries have academic years that start in September,” she said.

Students are often required to travel to study destinations earlier than September, whether to begin classes, attend orientation or simply become settled, Chamberlain argued. In this case, students are forced to put up the money for this.

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