With the finalisation of Brexit there will inevitably be some changes for postgraduate students in the UK.
One big change is that the British Government has left the Erasmus program, but there are plans to replace it with the Turing Scheme. The plans for this new scheme were only announced only at the end of 2020, so are not finalised yet, but it has been confirmed that it will include opportunities for postgraduate students to spend periods studying anywhere in the world. Let’s take a look at what the Turing Scheme is and how it could help postgraduate students
What is the Turning Scheme?
The aim is that the Turing Scheme will give funding and assistance to UK-based students to study abroad in a similar manner to the Erasmus program that it is replacing. However, it shouldn't be confused with The Alan Turing Institute's Enrichment scheme for PhD students to study with them.
How will it benefit PG students specifically?
In the same way that UK postgraduate students could participate in the Erasmus program, the Turing Scheme will be no different. The UK Government has allocated a £100 million in the first instance to fund and support 35,000 students for periods of international study.
When does it come into effect?
The plan is for the Turing Scheme to come into effect in 2021. However, those UK students who have already had their funding confirmed through the Erasmus program or are currently studying with Erasmus funding will continue with their study plans. Students will begin placements in September of 2021 under the Turing Scheme, and the current plan is to target funding at subject areas that did not have much attention from the Erasmus program. It also aims to encourage more underprivileged students to study aboard.
How does it differ from Erasmus?
The Turing Scheme won’t have the exchange element of students from other countries coming to the UK and UK students travelling abroad all with the same organisation. It will probably reduce the networking opportunities while students study abroad. UK students will have to make more effort to meet students from other countries when studying abroad. However as most universities – such as New York University – have substantial numbers of international students and organisations that support them, this shouldn't be too difficult.
What does it mean for UK students?
The Turing Scheme will not restrict UK students to study only in the EU or the few other countries that participate with the Erasmus program. With the Turing Scheme, UK students will be able to choose to study in almost any country with the help of government funding which is a great thing as employers and universities feel that international study periods help students to think differently as well encouraging international cooperation. Undertaking international study can improve your employment prospects and open your future to further postgraduate study.