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THE UK: Destination Guides

What is the Turing Scheme?

The Turing Scheme is a new global student exchange programme launched by the UK government. We take a closer look.

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Studying abroad is all about broadening your horizons, experiencing new cultures, and developing a whole new set of skills along the way. Taking advantage of all opportunities available to do so is important as an international student. That’s where exchange programmes and schemes can help. 2021 sees the launch of the Turing Scheme, a new global programme of exchange for UK institutions and students. We take you through what it means and how you could benefit.


Why was the Turing Scheme started?


The Turing Scheme was announced by the UK government, in December of 2020, as a replacement for the Erasmus + scheme. With the departure of the UK from the EU, it became necessary to find an alternative study abroad programme for students at UK universities. The scheme is designed with the principles of facilitating the personal and academic development of students.


The Turing Scheme will officially replace the Erasmus + Scheme in September of 2021, with provision made for the funding of 40,000 students. 120 universities will participate in the GBP 110 million scheme, with student destinations and partner institutions worldwide. The UK government indicated that the scheme was developed to provide more students with opportunities, including students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  


Discover more about the latest information on studying in the UK in 2021.


What does the Turing Scheme involve?


The Turing Scheme’s stated aim is to provide opportunities for students at UK universities to gain access to training and education opportunities globally. This may involve both studying and working abroad. Academic, vocational, and further education are all covered by the scheme.


Taking part in the Turing Scheme means a placement at an overseas partner institution or organisation. You’ll gain transferable skills, add points to your CV and make yourself more attractive to employers. Embarking on a programme abroad is invaluable in developing traits such as independence, confidence and motivation while also adding skills such as networking and communication.


Universities and institutions apply for a grant or funding from the scheme on behalf of students. You can then apply through your institution as long as they participate in the Turing Scheme. It may be worthwhile checking with your prospective university if they have secured funding and that the option is available.


Funding will vary depending on the type of project and destination involved. The amount that you receive can further depend on the length of your study abroad stay and your circumstances. There is provision for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and students with disabilities.  


Read more about the benefits of studying abroad.


Who can apply for the Turing Scheme?


Applications to the Turing Scheme take place on two levels. The first is by institution and organisation. The second is by you, the student, through your university. Eligibility for the Turing Scheme for institutions:


  • A registered and accredited UK Higher Education provider.
  • Further education or vocational education training provider registered in the UK.


To apply for funding from the scheme through your institution you must be either:


  • A registered student in any study cycle (full-time or part-time) or recent graduate (within the last 12 months). This includes international students.
  • A further education (FE) or vocational education learner (VET) or a recent graduate (within the last 12 months).


Remember that you cannot apply directly through the Turing Scheme portal or to the scheme as an individual student.


Find out how studying abroad can help your career.


What about visas?


Visas are an important consideration for you as an international student. You will need to research your desired destination and any potential implications this has on your student visa in the UK. In most cases, you will need to abide by the rules of the country you are travelling to, so this could include visa or work permit applications, including interviews.


What does the scheme cover?


The Turing Scheme was developed to provide funding that will cover some of the costs of an exchange programme overseas. For most higher education institutions outside of the UK tuition fees for an exchange programme are waived as part of the agreement between universities.


Some of the costs that are partially funded or fully covered by the scheme include:



Funding is also proportional to the length of your time away, which can vary between six weeks to a full year. The scheme’s funding allocates high, medium, and low cost of living categories for countries used to calculate relative allowances.  


Now that you have a better sense of what’s on offer from the Turing Scheme, why not read more about why you should study in the UK? You may also find our insights on internships helpful and be interested in reading about how the Turing Scheme measures up against other exchange programmes.

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