Turing Scheme transforms education for disadvantaged students post-Brexit | Politics | News | Express.co.uk
Turing Scheme’s Post-Brexit reforms empower underprivileged students globally with access to transformative educational opportunities.
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Turing Scheme transforms education for disadvantaged students post-Brexit (Image: Getty)
Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are studying around the world under “game-changer” Brexit reforms in education.
More than 40,000 young people are taking part this year in the Turing Scheme that was introduced after Britain left the European Union.
It replaced the bloc’s Eramus+ system that critics claimed favoured students from wealthier backgrounds.
Skills Minister Robert Halfon said: “The Turing Scheme is a real game-changer for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, empowering them with transformative opportunities abroad, a chance to experience other cultures and learn vital skills for life and work.
“It showcases our positive ambition post-Brexit, fostering a global outlook for more students who deserve every chance to thrive.”
“Young people benefit from inspirational placements around the world, not just Europe, building the confidence and skills they need for their future, whilst bolstering the government’s drive for a Global Britain.”
The scheme, named after renowned World War Two codebreaker Alan Turing,
allows students to study and work in more than 160 different countries.
Official figures show 60 per cent of participants this year are from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Turing Scheme provides funding for travel costs for disadvantaged higher education students and funding for visas, passports and related travel insurance, something that was restricted under Erasmus+.
Students from Bridgwater & Taunton College in Somerset secured a two week placement in Mississippi.
Jon Harding, International and Education Projects Manager at the college, said: “Some of these students are on support funding on their courses and there were probably five or six who had never had a passport, hadn’t travelled out of Somerset and it was their first time on a plane.
“That impact for us was huge. We are in an area that, demographically, has a high level of families with low incomes and it was a big win for us that we could integrate students that probably wouldn’t have undertaken this, or similar trips, if the Turing Scheme funding wasn’t there. They wouldn’t have been able to afford to go.”
More than half of higher education providers who had previously delivered Erasmus+ said that they have been able to increase the volume of international placements offered through the Turing Scheme, according to the government.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “It is great that many students will have the fantastic opportunity to study abroad this academic year.”
“The benefits of doing so have never been in doubt, but what is in question is whether the Turing Scheme is offering better opportunities than the one it replaced, Erasmus+.”
“We are yet to be convinced that this is the case, particularly in the schools sector which appears to now be receiving comparatively lower funding than it was under the previous scheme. The Government has much more to do to support schools in closing the disadvantage gap.”