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How the Turing Scheme is widening access to overseas educational opportunities

Read how the Turing Scheme aims to increase access to overseas educational opportunities for disadvantaged groups.
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One of the key objectives of the Turing Scheme is to increase access to overseas educational opportunities for those who, for various reasons, may not usually consider them an option.

Students from less advantaged backgrounds, for instance, are less likely to spend a period of their degree course overseas than students from more advantaged backgrounds. 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.  

In order, to increase the participation of disadvantaged groups the Turing Scheme features a range of specific criteria and enhanced support options, including 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 but 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 

Education institutions will also be given some discretion to use this funding for students who do not strictly meet our definition of disadvantage, but they otherwise believe need support for travel costs and extra assistance that disadvantaged students receive, if there is a strong case for it. This case should be made as part of the call for bids. 

Definitions 

A basket of measures to define what we mean by disadvantaged groups will be used. The definitions of disadvantage it is intended to use are as follows: 

Higher education 

  • Students from areas of low higher education participation, low household income or low socioeconomic status (including those with an annual household income of £25,000 or less) 
  • Those receiving Income Support or Universal Credit 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 
  • Care leavers 
  • Young adult carers  
  • Students with no living parents 
  • Neither of the students’ parents can be found or it is not reasonably practicable to get in touch with either of them (estranged students) 

VET/Further education

  • Children in care 
  • Care leavers 
  • Those receiving Income Support or Universal Credit 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 
  • Those receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right 
  • Those in receipt of free school meals  

Schools 

  • Pupils who claim or have claimed free school meals at any point in the past six years  
  • Children in care and those who have left care through adoption or other formal routes

Special educational needs and disabilities

Additional support will also be available for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 

The Turing Scheme will fund up to 100% of actual costs for support directly related to their additional needs. This funding will also cover preparatory visits to carry out risk assessments and ensure participants will be able to equally access and take part in all elements of a placement. 

Head to our funding opportunities pages to find out more.

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