The Turing scheme is the UK’s global programme for studying and working abroad. Widening access is central to it, and students from disadvantaged backgrounds are offered additional financial support including an increased grant towards living costs and funding for travel-related costs. I understand that almost half of those who go on the Turing scheme will be from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The arrival of the Turing scheme is good news for young people in my constituency, including those at Coleg Llandrillo Rhyl who are planning a trip to France in the new year. Can the Minister give me an update on how the scheme is benefiting those in Wales more widely?
Absolutely. One of the things we wanted to do when we designed Turing was to ensure that it was a UK-wide programme and that young people from all parts of the United Kingdom could take advantage of it. That has included Wales, and indeed north Wales. Recently, I was lucky enough to speak to participants from across the UK, and we are seeing young people doing remarkable new things and having opportunities that they would otherwise not have been able to take advantage of.
Scotland received £8.3 million under the UK Government’s Turing scheme, compared with £22.6 million under the Erasmus+ scheme. Given that this £14 million reduction will clearly impact opportunities for young learners to study abroad, when will the UK Government seeks to close this gap and properly fund study abroad?
The UK Government are putting £110 million into Turing, and I am delighted to say that in the first round 29 Scottish providers have been able to take advantage of this Treasury-funded scheme. More than £8 million in funding has already gone to Scotland. The other day, I was lucky enough to be at Glasgow University, where I met the chancellor and students, who were absolutely delighted with the opportunities that it was providing.