UCL Global


UCL awarded £1.5m towards study abroad initiatives

9 August 2021

UCL has received £1.5m in funding through the UK government’s Turing Scheme to increase opportunities for students to study and work abroad

female student standing in front of departures board at airport

The funding will support a range of international activity in the 2021-22 academic year, with a particular focus on widening access for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds or underrepresented groups.

Through the Turing Scheme, UCL will look to boost and broaden the numbers of students who are able to access international opportunities, enhancing the student experience, equipping students with new global skills and intercultural competences, and preparing them for global lives and careers.

It will diversify the duration and types of international opportunity available, including growing UCL’s short-term mobility offer. There is increasing evidence of the benefits of short-term mobility, particularly for students from underrepresented groups who may not have otherwise considered a period abroad, as they can more easily fit this in around their existing commitments.

Professor Stella Bruzzi, Dean of UCL’s Faculty of Arts & Humanities and chair of UCL’s Study Abroad Working Group, said: “At UCL we have always recognised the importance of outbound mobility to student success; education will always be enriched by an international component and we are committed to providing a range of opportunities for our students to broaden their university experience by going abroad to immerse themselves in the cultures and languages of others. We are delighted to have been awarded this funding.”

The government launched the Turing Scheme – named after British code breaker and mathematician Alan Turing - to replace the Erasmus+ initiative for UK institutions.

It is set to provide £110 million in funding for 35,000 students from schools, colleges and universities across the UK to go on placements abroad between September 2021 and August 2022, with additional support for students from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

Funding made available will work in conjunction with existing Erasmus+ projects in 2021-22 and UCL’s existing Erasmus+ projects will end in May 2023.

UCL President & Provost, Dr Michael Spence, said: “UCL has a strong history of opening up education to those who might otherwise be excluded from it and these vital funds will ensure even more students can enjoy the many benefits that studying and working abroad can bring.”

In July, Dr Spence hosted former European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Carlos Moedas, and research leaders from across Europe for a roundtable discussion on shaping the EU-UK research agenda.

During the roundtable they discussed the importance of deepening European collaboration, including through mobility opportunities.

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