UK’s Erasmus Replacement Program Faces Criticism Amid Student Funding Issues

United Kingdom Europe International Studies by Erudera News Jan 10, 2024

eu students

Students participating in the Turing Scheme, the UK government’s program to study and work abroad that replaced the EU’s Erasmus+ exchange program after Brexit, were compelled to withdraw due to delayed spot confirmations, according to recent research.

Some of these students even faced funding issues, receiving the amount only after their return, reports.

The report “Turing Scheme: Year 1 Evaluation” published by the Department of Education found that 79 percent of higher education providers in the UK experienced difficulties with the application process, which has been described as “tedious.”

The same reveals that both participants and higher education institutions were more likely to state that the funds provided through the Turing Scheme addressed expenses partially and additional funding beyond the scheme was often required.

Analysis from IFF Research also highlighted that insufficient funding and delivery issues affected students with fewer resources more, potentially hindering their ability to participate in the program.

“It was a lot of work. The reason was because it was very repetitive, and they kept asking the same questions, so you had to find another way to answer that didn’t sound like you were copycatting the previous questions,” a school provider in England stated.

Higher education institutions also complained about the timing of taking applications, meaning they had to complete the application process while on their annual leave and when there was no staff support.

“Four weeks isn’t very long anyway, and if you are looking to be ambitious and innovative like we are being asked to be by DfE…we don’t have time to do that because we have to consult across our whole university, all the faculties, all the deans,” another higher education provider in England said.

Overall, less than half (45 percent) of higher education institutions described the Turing scheme as “satisfactory,” while 31 percent were not very positive about the program, saying it was unsatisfactory to them.

The United Kingdom Department for Education established the Turing student exchange program in 2021 as a replacement for Erasmus+. The first students moved to study and work abroad in September 2021.

However, during the first year of the Turing scheme, the number of interested participants was not as expected. Just over 20,000 individuals participated in the program, while the government’s target was 35,000. According to the report, the influence of COVID-19 at the time contributed to this discrepancy.

In the academic year 2022/23, the Turing Scheme has reportedly paid UK students £22 million less compared to the EU’s Erasmus program, local media reports said earlier in 2023.


>> UK’s Replacement of Erasmus+: What Should British Students Know About Turing Scheme?

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