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UK minister hails “landmark” Turing scheme

The UK government’s new outbound study program, the Turing scheme, will foster a new generation of “truly global citizens” among young people, universities minister Michelle Donelan has stated.

The Turing scheme "represents a landmark step in achieving our vision of a truly global Britain", said the UK universities minister. Photo: GoingGlobal

"To support the UK government's agenda of levelling up across the entire UK, we've designed a scheme for everyone"

Speaking at the British Council’s Going Global Conference 2021, the scheme – announced in December 2020 – will support UK students to “take advantage of the benefits of studying and working abroad from September 2021”, Donelan reminded.

With a budget of £110 million for 35,000 students, the “truly global” initiative will provide UK students with opportunities in “every country in the world”, she said.

“Mobility and the opportunities this opens for our young people should not be limited to a privileged few,” Donelan told delegates.

“Through study or work experience abroad we want this new generation to become more globally mobile and culturally agile. To support the UK government’s agenda of levelling up across the entire UK, we’ve designed a scheme for everyone.

“We want this new generation to become more globally mobile and culturally agile”

“No young person should be excluded from expanding the horizons because of their family’s income or other disadvantages that they’ve experienced in their lives. These life changing experiences will be accessible to students across the country, whatever their background,” she said.

“This pioneering scheme represents a landmark step in achieving our vision of a truly global Britain.”

Donelan also noted that she had “been engaging extensively with potential partners” on the Turing scheme in the US, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, India, as well as more countries in the Commonwealth.

While the application window has now closed, the minister added that the government has “received a strong number of applications with an appetite for mobility across the world”.

The full extent of the numbers of application has not yet been published.

Vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool Janet Beer added that the UK sector needs to “make the most” of the initiative to enhance international partnerships across the globe.

“Whilst we were disappointed that the UK would no longer be participating in Erasmus, the Turing outward mobility scheme offers an important opportunity for many young people,” she said.

“We must encourage and support our students to experience other countries cultures and to learn languages. It’s our responsibility to ensure that our graduates are prepared to take their place in an increasingly interconnected world,” Beer said.

“We all want Turing to work. We all want Turing to extend the catchment of the students who can get access to… any kind of overseas experience… I am pretty happy the global citizen is back.”

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