• Mixed results for Turing Scheme to date as 2024 aims revealed

    960 640 Stuart O'Brien

    Disadvantaged young people make up the a large proportion of international study placements as part of the £110m Turing Scheme, new research shows, however, the government initiative failed to hit its initial schools target due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Turing Scheme was introduced in 2021 to widen access to global opportunities in education and training following the UK’s departure from the European Union. It builds on the government’s ‘levelling up’ trope and is designed to drive social mobility in parts of the UK where, historically, there have been fewer opportunities to study and work abroad.

    This was expected to enable up to 35,000 students, learners and pupils (participants), registered in a UK or British Overseas Territories education organisation, to undertake international study or work placements in Year 1 of the scheme (2021), including 5,000 secondary school children

    However, the report says only 20,822 took part in the inaugural year, with just 2,828  from UK secondary schools.

    In addition, the report says providers, particularly those from the Higher Education (HE) funding stream, had some difficulty with the application to the scheme. The majority (79%) of HE providers found this difficult, while 23% of Further Education / Vocation Education Training (FE/VET) providers and 29% of schools did. Difficulties tended to relate to the amount of detail and forecasting required in the form (likely to be relatively more complex for HE providers, who deliver a greater volume and variety of placements).

    The latest figures show that more than 40,000 students are set to benefit in 23/24 academic year (Year 3), 60% of which are from disadvantaged background or underrepresented groups. This includes around 1,800 additional students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the further education sector alone compared to last year.

    The report also highlights how the scheme has supported universities, colleges and schools across the country to strengthen existing partnerships and develop links with a wider range of countries such as the USA, Japan and Canada, not just EU countries.

    Students reported benefits including a significant improvement in both skills and academic knowledge, and the opportunity to experience different cultures, fostering a richer international outlook that goes beyond traditional classroom learning.

    Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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