Youngsters from deprived communities will be targeted by the new Erasmus scheme“Turing scheme” which will fund British students to study abroad after Brex
Disadvantaged students could end up studying at Harvard or Yale
Disadvantaged students could end up studying at Harvard or Yale under the UK’s replacement Erasmus study abroad scheme. Youngsters from deprived communities will be targeted by the new “Turing scheme” which is being set up to fund British students to study or work abroad after Brexit. Earlier this week the Prime Minister announced the UK would end its involvement with the Erasmus student exchange programme, which was established in 1987 and has seen millions of students spend time abroad in Europe as part of their degree. Instead, it will be replaced by a worldwide scheme named after Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing. Britain’s new exchange programme will allow universities to forge exchange partnerships with any educational institutions around the world rather than just those in the European Union. This could open the door to exchange programmes with prestigious Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities. Once partnerships have been agreed, the British university would then need to put in a bid to the Department for Education (DfE) for funding and have the details of their arrangements signed off by officials. Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said he wants to see “more students from all backgrounds benefit from the experience” of studying abroad, saying that the Turing scheme will form part of the Government’s promise to “level up” Britain. The scheme aims to “boost social mobility” by encouraging youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply, as well as those who are from parts of the country where take up of Erasmus has been low. Vivienne Stern, international director at Universities UK which represents vice-Chancellors, welcomed the scheme, adding: “Evidence shows that students who have international experience tend to do better academically and in employment, and the benefits are greatest for those who are least advantaged.” The Turing scheme will be initially handed £100 million which will allow up to 35,000 students to study or work abroad during the next academic year. But DfE officials said that funding for the scheme will be kept under review, and will be dependent on future spending reviews. Speaking on Thursday, Mr Johnson said "it was a tough decision" to pull out of the Erasmus programme, but he explained that the decision had been taken on financial grounds. Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit negotiator, said that Britain’s decision not to participate in the Erasmus programme was one of his main regrets about the deal. "I have just two regrets in terms of our societal co-operation,” he said. “Firstly, the British Government decided not to participate in the Erasmus exchange programme. "Secondly, the level of ambition in terms of mobility assistance is not in line with our historical ties, but that again is a choice of the British Government." Meanwhile, Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also accused the Prime Minister of committing “cultural vandalism” by ending the UK’s involvement in the scheme. Mr Williamson said: "We now have the chance to expand opportunities to study abroad and see more students from all backgrounds benefit from the experience. "We have designed a truly international scheme which is focused on our priorities, delivers real value for money and forms an important part of our promise to level up the United Kingdom."