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Turing Scheme: Finance

Question for Department for Education

UIN 180634, tabled on 14 April 2023

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department plans to fund the Turing Scheme beyond the 2024-25 academic year.

Answered on

24 April 2023

The Turing Scheme, the government’s global programme to study and work abroad, is going into its third year with £110 million invested for this academic year. This year, the Scheme is unlocking opportunities for more than 38,000 participants to gain international experience. This includes more than 23,400 Higher Education placements, more than 9,900 Further Education and Vocational Education and Training placements, and more than 4,900 schools placements.

The Scheme is opening up international opportunities to students who might not otherwise be able to access them. 51% of the international placements being made available across 160 countries all over the world have been earmarked for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The department will confirm the delivery approach for the fourth year of the Turing Scheme in the coming months. Dependent on the delivery approach, any assessment criteria for bids will be designed proportionately and appropriately.

Funding for the 2025/26 academic year and beyond can only be agreed as part of future Spending Reviews.

The Turing Scheme is an outward mobility scheme for UK participants and there are currently no plans to fund inbound mobility. The Turing Scheme prioritises opportunities for UK students to study and work abroad, and we expect other countries to make their own arrangements for their students. The UK continues to be an attractive destination for international degree students, with international student enrolments rising by 12% to 679,970 in the 2021/22 academic year.

The Turing Scheme does not provide funding directly to participants. It is the responsibility of grant recipients, largely education providers, to make timely requests for payments in line with their planned placements and to disburse funding to their participants.

Some organisations have experienced issues navigating the process for claiming Turing Scheme funds, including providing the correct evidence on projects, which has led to delays in payment being processed. The Turing Scheme delivery partner, Capita, has already taken steps to help organisations better understand the process. This includes video instructions, written guidance and one to one telephone support when requested. Departmental officials are also working with Capita to review how it can improve the overall customer experience while obtaining assurance that Turing Scheme funds are being appropriately spent, within the grant terms.

All Turing Scheme applicants are required to apply on an annual basis. This is because UK government funding must be used within the period for which it has been allocated to keep in line with UK government spending requirements. The annual application window gives eligible organisations across all sectors, all over the country, the opportunity to access available funding and tailor their application for their cohort for the relevant academic year.