Question to the Department for Education:
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the financial aid available through the Turing scheme compares to that available through the Erasmus+ scheme.
The Turing Scheme will be backed by £110 million to support international projects and activities during the 2021/22 academic year. This will provide funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges, and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, a similar number as under Erasmus+.
This was set out in a one year Spending Review, but the government has a clear aim to use this scheme as part of our long-term ambitions for a Global Britain. The benefits of the exchanges will be assessed and used to build on the scheme. Funding decisions for subsequent years will be subject to future spending reviews.
Grants available through the Turing Scheme are comparable with Erasmus+ for the most part, but there is also new support available for disadvantaged students and students with special educational needs and disabilities which was not available through Erasmus+. All participating students will receive grants dependent on their destination country to contribute towards their cost of living. The grant support available under the Turing Scheme is currently slightly higher than that under Erasmus+. Under the Turing Scheme, we will provide a grant of £335–£380 per month, plus a disadvantaged supplement of £110 per month. With Erasmus+, under current exchange rates, students received a grant equivalent to £315–£360, with a disadvantaged supplement of £100. Students can continue to apply for student finance.
For schools and colleges, all participants will receive travel funding, whereas Erasmus+ only provided travel support to higher education participants who travelled to Partner Countries, which was around only 3% of UK participants. With the Turing Scheme, we are introducing funding for travel costs for disadvantaged higher education students to all destinations. Additionally, we are providing funding for visas, passports, and related travel insurance for disadvantaged participants in all sectors.
For participants with special educational needs and disabilities, the scheme will fund up to 100% of actual costs for support directly related to their additional needs, as Erasmus+ did, with the new addition of preparatory visits for staff to carry out risk assessments and ensure their students will be able to access and take part in all elements of a placement equally. More information on funding available can be found at: www.turing-scheme.org.uk.
For all students participating in the Turing Scheme, we expect tuition fees to be waived by host institutions, as under Erasmus+. This is a matter for individual institutions to agree, and something that universities do as a matter of course when they form exchange partnerships with international providers.