22 July 2022

Turing Scheme: A Comprehensive Guide

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Back in 1987, the European Parliament launched Erasmus, an EU-wide exchange programme that gave thousands of students the opportunity to expand their cultural horizons overseas.

Following the 2016 referendum and the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the Prime Minister withdrew the country from Erasmus and replaced it with the new-found Turing Scheme.

Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about Britain’s latest initiative.



WHAT IS THE TURING SCHEME?

The Turing Scheme is an international programme that enables educational institutions like schools, colleges and universities to fund their students while they work or study abroad. It aims to boost employability and improve language proficiency, preparing young people like yourself for the future.

The scheme is named after Alan Turing, a computer scientist and mathematician who was instrumental in breaking the Enigma Code, which saved millions of lives during World War II.

(You might have seen the film The Imitation Game, where Benedict Cumberbatch gave an Oscar-worthy performance as Alan, alongside Keira Knightley.)

Participating in the Turing Scheme is a golden opportunity for you to forge new friendships, develop soft skills, enhance your cultural knowledge and gain a fresh perspective on the world. All whilst you’re still at university!


TURING SCHEME VS ERASMUS

While there are many similarities between the Erasmus Scheme and the Turing Scheme, there are a few differences too. Let’s explore them further in the table below…

TURING SCHEMEERASMUS SCHEME
A global programme allowing every country in the world to partner with UK education settings.An EU-centric programme, though placements outside Europe were possible. 
Budget stands at £93 million (€110 million) for 2022 / 2023.Budget stands at £22.3 billion (€26.2 billion) for the 2021 – 2027 cycle.
Funding covers visa, passport and travel insurance costs, as well as supporting students from low socio-economic backgrounds.Travel support for participants who were travelling to partner countries only.
Tuition fees are NOT waived. Colleges and universities are encouraged to waive fees to promote student exchange.Tuition fees were waived by host universities.
Turing Scheme VS Erasmus

WHO CAN TAKE PART?

Higher education students (whether undergraduates or postgraduates) can participate in the Turing Scheme. Your placement must last a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of twelve months, and be completed between September 1 and August 31 of the following year.

Apprentices and learners in further education (FE) and vocational education and training (VET) can also take part. Recent graduates and school students are eligible as well. 

The programme is open to students of all nationalities. As long as you’re studying with a UK or British Overseas Territory education provider, you’re welcome to apply.

For more information about eligibility criteria, download the Turing Scheme Programme Guide

Alternatively, have a look at which higher education providers have been officially recognised by the OFS (Office for Students).


WHERE CAN YOU GO WITH THE TURING SCHEME?

There are over 150 countries involved in the Turing Scheme, many of which are English-speaking. This makes the programme accessible to all students, particularly if you don’t have any foreign language skills but would still like to participate in this global project. 

Whether you choose to study at an overseas university or gain experience on a traineeship, there’s something there for you.

STUDY ABROAD PLACEMENT

Your university will have a number of pre-established connections with higher education providers around the world. 

Speak with your department’s exchange coordinator to discuss the partnerships and opportunities that best suit your area of study. This will help you make an informed decision as to where you should go.

Making lasting friendships: The Turing Scheme

WORK PLACEMENT

You can do a work placement at any organisation that’s both active in the labour market (whether public or private) and linked to an education or training body. 

Here are some examples:

  • Small, medium or large organisations (including social enterprises)
  • Schools or education centres (from primary to upper secondary)  
  • NGOs
  • Foundations
  • Research institutes

To discover what opportunities are available, speak with a member of your placement team.


HOW DO YOU APPLY FOR TURING FUNDING?

Students can’t apply for funding directly. Instead, higher education institutions bid for financial support on their behalf. 

In order for the bidding process to be successful, universities must ensure they meet the following criteria:

  • BUILDING –  connections worldwide
  • PROMOTING –  social mobility
  • HELPING –  students develop new skills that will prepare them for the world of work
  • PROVIDING –  value for money

In other words, students can only participate in the programme once their university has won them a grant.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR LIVING COSTS SUPPORT?

Funding to support living costs is available, though amounts will vary depending on the participant, the placement length and the destination country.

Students on a higher education placement, for example, will receive the following:

Placements lasting between four and eight weeks:

  • Group 1 destinations – £545 per month
  • Group 2 and 3 destinations – £480 per month

Placements lasting over eight weeks:

  • Group 1 destinations – £380 per month
  • Group 2 and 3 destinations –   £335 per month

The destination groups are determined by how expensive it is to live in a particular country. Find a full list on the Turing Scheme website

The world is your oyster

At RateMyPlacement.co.uk, we’re committed to helping you find the career of your dreams. So don’t forget to browse the very many international placements and internships we have on offer.

Living abroad is a life-changing experience that will make you, shape you, but never (ever) break you.

Go for it – we’re rooting for you!