Disadvantaged participants are set to take up two-thirds of the international study and work opportunities approved under the Turing Scheme in the 2023 to 2024 academic year.
More than 40,000 students, learners and pupils across the UK will get the transformational opportunity to study or work abroad from September.
Building on the success of the previous two years, nearly two-thirds of funded placements are projected to be for people from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds, up from 51% last year. In Further Education the allocation for disadvantaged students is even higher this year, making up 71% of approved placements in the sector.
The Turing Scheme widens access to international opportunities in education and training, with more than 22,800 projected Higher Education placements, over 6,700 school placements, and more than 10,500 Further Education and Vocational Education and Training placements set to be funded.
Universities, colleges and schools across the country will be awarded a share of almost £105 million to offer placements to their students, with more applications having been successful this year than ever before and a significantly higher interest in the scheme from colleges and schools.
Driving social mobility
Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon, said: “Once again, this transformational scheme is extending the ladder of opportunity for more young people to experience other cultures and learn vital skills for life and work, regardless of their background.
“With nearly a 50% increase in the number of successful applications and around 1,800 additional learners from disadvantaged backgrounds in the FE sector compared to last year, I am delighted that this scheme is driving social mobility.
“Young people taking part will benefit from inspirational placements around the world that will build the confidence they need for their future.”
Canada, Japan and the United States are among more than 160 international destinations where UK students will be funded to take up work and study placements – alongside popular European destinations like Spain and France.
Ross Anderson, Client Partner for the Turing Scheme at Capita, said: “We are very proud to support the DfE in delivering the Turing Scheme and delighted that, yet again, applications for funding significantly increased this year.
Exciting opportunities all over the world
“Widening access to opportunities to study and work abroad is a key aspect of the Scheme and to see that approved funding for those from disadvantaged backgrounds has also increased is particularly pleasing.
“It is marvelous to see grants being used to offer the chance to those who might not otherwise get the opportunity to take up these exciting opportunities all over the world.”
Leeds Beckett University is one of the successful providers this year and expects students to travel to destinations such as Canada, Australia and Uganda.
Global Engagement and Relationship Manager Tom Kyle said: “We have seen growing demand for students wanting to gain some form of Global Experience during their studies, and it makes a big difference to be able to offer funding for this, particularly to those students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“There is good evidence that students who spend some time abroad during their studies benefit in terms of graduate outcomes and employability, as well as having a fantastic time overseas. We look forward to building on our student mobility activity and seeing more students benefit from the opportunities this brings.”