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Widening access

Students from less advantaged backgrounds are less likely to spend a period of their degree overseas than students from more advantaged backgrounds, a feature of the landscape while the UK was taking part in Erasmus+. When looking solely at graduates of non-language subjects, 7.6% of students from more advantaged backgrounds were mobile, compared to 4.6% of students from less advantaged backgrounds.

The Turing Scheme recognises widening access opportunities as a key priority, so in order to increase the participation of disadvantaged groups we plan the following:

  • When bidding, providers will need to demonstrate how their project will support widening access. The assessment criteria will be heavily weighted towards this criterion
  • Maintaining parity with Erasmus+ grant rates and existing student finance support as well as providing additional financial support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds by reimbursing travel-related costs
  • We will actively target and promote the scheme in those geographical areas of disadvantage, thereby helping to level up the country
  • We will reduce the minimum duration of a HE placement to four weeks to make going abroad more accessible to a wider group of students particularly those with other commitments
  • The global nature of the Turing Scheme will remove the language barrier for students who are not studying languages by vastly increasing the opportunities in English speaking countries
Group of young people outside looking at notes

Definitions

We will use a broad basket of measures to define what we mean by disadvantaged groups. We will use established definitions relevant to each of the four nations of the UK, as agreed by each nation’s respective government. Further detail will be set out in the programme guidance.

We recognise that your institution may identify participants who do not strictly meet our definition of disadvantage but have a very strong case for the extra support that disadvantaged participants will receive. We urge you to make this case clear in your institution’s bid as we will allow some discretion where appropriate.

In addition to those groups that are included within the definition of financial disadvantage, there are a number of groups that are underrepresented in international placements. These include ethnic minority, part-time, disabled and mature students, and students who are first in their family to attend university. We encourage you to set out in your bid if your institution will seek to widen access to participants from these groups.

The definitions of disadvantage we intend to use include:

Higher education

  • Students with low household income or low socio-economic status (including those with an annual household income of £25,000 or less)
  • Students receiving Universal Credit or income-related benefits because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them, such as a child or partner
  • Students who are care-experienced
  • Students who have caring responsibilities
  • Neither of the students’ parents can be found or it is not reasonably practicable to get in touch with either of them (estranged students)
  • Refugees and asylum seekers

Further education and vocational education and training

  • Learners with low household income or low socio-economic status (including those with an annual household income of £25,000 or less)
  • Learners receiving Universal Credit or income-related benefits because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them, such as a child or partner
  • Learners in care or who are care-experienced
  • Learners who have caring responsibilities
  • Learners in receipt of free school meals
  • Refugees and asylum seekers

Schools

  • Pupils with low household income or low socio-economic status (including those with an annual household income of £25,000 or less)
  • Pupils who claim or have claimed free school meals at any point in the past six years
  • Children who are care-experienced, in care and those who have left care through adoption or other formal routes
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
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