To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2021 to Question 155341 on the Turing Scheme, what steps he is taking to (a) identify the geographical areas of disadvantage and (b) actively target and promote the Turing scheme in those areas; what funding has been allocated for such promotion; and whether such funding is part of the stated budget for that scheme.
5 March 2021
Successful applications for the Turing Scheme will support social mobility and widen participation across the UK. The scheme will help and promote equal access and opportunities to all pupils, students and learners regardless of background, in line with the government’s levelling-up agenda. It will offer additional financial support for disadvantaged students and, unlike Erasmus, there will be additional funds available to pay for disadvantaged students’ travel costs. More information on the Turing Scheme, including the aim for widening access, is available on the scheme’s website: www.turing-scheme.org.uk.
The Turing Scheme’s delivery partner, a consortium of the British Council and Ecorys, will actively promote the scheme across the whole of the UK, concentrating on areas of socio-economic disadvantage and lower social mobility, including the department’s identified Opportunity Areas, because disadvantaged students have been typically under-represented when it comes to taking advantage of international education opportunities. .
The UK-wide scheme is demand-led. However, the qualitative assessment criteria are positively weighted towards projects that reach out to groups with fewer opportunities.
Funding for the UK-wide promotion is part of the administration costs for the scheme, allowed for within the overall budget.