EU humiliated as French MEP admits UK’s Turing scheme could surpass Erasmus

Nigel Farage says Johnson 'owes him so much' for Brexit

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Following the UK’s exit from the EU, Britain was no longer able to use the Erasmus programme, where students could study at European universities for set periods of time. In response, the UK Government founded the Turing Scheme, which allows UK students to study abroad at universities in Europe and beyond, as well as undertake work placements.

The Turing Scheme will debut in September, with the Department for Education (DfE) saying more than 40,000 young people “will be able to work and study abroad” later this year.

The DfE estimates hold 120 universities have applied for a share of the £110m scheme.

The 40,000 total is said to include 28,000 placements for university students in 2021-22, more than the 18,300 placements under the Erasmus scheme in the 2018-19 academic year.

The DfE says the new scheme means young people “will be funded to take up work and study placements” in 150 countries, but many of the countries listed have border entry restrictions because of the Covid pandemic.

Dominique Bilde, French deputy from Rassemblement National in the European Parliament, admitted the UK’s post-Brexit student plan could well surpass the EU’s Erasmus+ programme.

She wrote on Twitter: “The Turing programme, which replaces Erasmus, is a resounding success in the United Kingdom.

“It could even qualitatively surpass the European version, which tends to get lost in ideological whims…”

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson praised the new scheme, and was pleased 48 percent of applicants came from disadvantaged backgrounds.

He said: “The chance to work and learn in a country far from home is a once in a lifetime opportunity – which broadens minds, sharpens skills and improves outcomes.

“But until now it has been an opportunity disproportionately enjoyed by those from the most privileged backgrounds.

“The Turing Scheme has welcomed a breadth of successful applications from schools and colleges across the country, reflecting our determination that the benefits of Global Britain are shared by all.”

Speaking to The Guardian, Paul James Cardwell, a professor at City Law School, University of London said the number of people who will go will be lower than the number universities have bid for.

He said: “All opportunities to study abroad are welcome, but we need to be clear about how many students will actually go abroad, which will probably be much lower than the numbers that have been bid for.

“We also don’t know whether these placements have been arranged and confirmed and, crucially, how much funding will be allocated to each participant.”

Additional reporting from Maria Ortega

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