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International Student Exchange program to be far more inclusive than Erasmus

According to the UK’s universities minister, a proposed foreign student exchange program will offer more options for American students and will be more welcoming than its predecessor. 

The long-running Erasmus program of the European Union allowed students to study abroad while also providing a staff exchange program. 

Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to stay in the system and resistance from scholars and students alike, the United Kingdom resigned as part of the Brexit deal.

The Turing Scheme, named after the mathematician and founder of computer science Alan Turing, has now been launched in the United Kingdom. 

According to universities minister Michelle Donelan, a core feature of the current scheme is creating scholarships for UK students to study all over the world, as well as for students from all over the world to study in the UK. Although about 16,500 students from the United Kingdom participated in Erasmus last year, the vast majority of exchanges took place throughout Europe. The Turing scheme aspires to be more comprehensive.

She said, “It is global in nature.” “Over 97 percent of Erasmus was inside Europe, while we have built a scheme that is far more multicultural and offers more opportunity for a younger generation, both in the United Kingdom and others that will be moving to the United Kingdom. 

To some point, the United Kingdom is hammering on an open fence. Outside of Erasmus, a number of student exchanges took place, including with the United States, which is the UK’s third largest source of international students. The distinction is that taxpayer funding will be included this time, and since U.K. colleges suspend their fees under the Turing program, international universities will be expected to waive theirs for U.K. students. 

Ms Donelan said, “We’re paying our students to travel abroad, so we think it’s only fair that other countries donate to their students.”

One major benefit of the scheme is that the United Kingdom is now one of the most successful destinations for foreign students, thanks to a combination of its top universities’ reputations and English’s status as a global language. 

Despite this, Ms Donelan stated that the scheme has already sparked “a lot of interest” from universities in the United States. “We have more top 100 universities than the entire European Union combined, which is a huge incentive,” she added.

Students will be eligible to get extra help with travel and passports under Turing, and placements will be as brief as four weeks, after testing revealed that a longer minimum was a deterrent for people from poorer backgrounds. Turing will also support initial site visits to assess mobility challenges for disabled students. 

Although the government has not set specific goals for particular countries, it hopes to support 35,000 UK students to move abroad, with 20,000 of them pursuing higher education, at an expense of about £100 million ($136 million).

However, unlike Erasmus, the Turing program will not entail staff exchanges, which will be a huge drawback for the higher education market, which has reaped various benefits from the sharing of information and skills.

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