According to newly released numbers, around £8.3 million was given in Scotland this academic year under the Turing Scheme, which was proposed as a substitute for the EU initiative that Boris Johnson’s administration chose to exit.
The total amount awarded for successful Erasmus+ applications in 2020 was roughly £22.6m (€26.4m) north of the border. As per new numbers, school funding has fallen, with £3,79,710 allocated this year under Turing, compared to about £1.7m (€2m) granted under the Erasmus+ initiative in 2020.
This year’s Turing Scheme funding for Scotland includes £975,914 for further education and vocational educational training. Higher education has received approximately £6.9 million under the post-Brexit program, while it has received approximately £14 million (€16.4 million) under the EU program.
However, via Erasmus+, vocational education and training received approximately £4 million (€4.78 million) in 2020, with adult education receiving an additional £2.2 million (€2.67). According to the SNP, this demonstrated that the Turing Scheme was a “shadow” of the European program.
As per a recent House of Commons briefing document, approximately £4.7 million was provided to staff development out of a total of approximately £171 million (€200 million) of UK-wide Erasmus+ money. The extent of the Turing Scheme has been questioned in comparison to Erasmus, according to that article.
The UK’s initiative, which is sponsored by £110m, was proposed to replace the Erasmus+ plan in the UK with 35,000 global exchanges beginning in September 2021. The Department of Education said that a direct comparison of the two programs is impossible since Erasmus+ data includes staff placements, which are not supported under the Turing Scheme. “In addition to educational exchanges, Erasmus+ covered staff development placements, school improvement programs, youth opportunities, and sport,” it said.
According to Scottish National Party (SNP) Kaukab Stewart, Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), the negative impacts of Brexit are still being felt by the people of Scotland, with young people potentially being refused the opportunity to work and study in 27 other EU nations due to a budget gap.
“The Turing Scheme is a shadow of the Erasmus scheme and does not come close to affording students the same opportunities to study abroad,” Stewart said. “Not only has the Turing Scheme slashed support for study abroad, but the scheme itself does not provide anywhere near the tuition fee support that Erasmus did, meaning students will have to take on crippling debt to work and study abroad.
“Scotland’s young people have seen their opportunities narrowed by this Tory UK Government and their Brexit obsession. It was in the best interests of students that Boris Johnson insisted on the UK re-joining Erasmus, but instead, he has created his own scheme that makes it more difficult for students to take their studies further afield.”
This year, the Turing Scheme granted a total of £98.5 million across the UK, with Scotland contributing 8.4 per cent of the total. “The Turing Scheme is delivering over £8 million to universities, schools, and institutions in Scotland this academic year,” stated a spokeswoman for the Department for Education.
Grants received by students in Scotland under the Turing Scheme mirror those received by Erasmus+, with additional support provided for those from disadvantaged backgrounds – with an additional £110 monthly supplement and additional support for travel and visa costs for those from the poorest backgrounds. The initiative is based on demand, and there is no limit to the amount of financing that universities in each country could potentially receive.