Student mobility after Brexit

sunset out of a plane window flying over mountains

The UK government decided not to seek participation in the new Erasmus+ programme. The UK government will instead launch the Turing scheme. 


What has been agreed? 

The UK government decided not to seek participation in the new Erasmus+ programme. This means students based at universities in England, Scotland and Wales will not be able to participate in the programme when the first call for funding launches. 

The Irish government has committed to fund students from universities in Northern Ireland to participate in the new Erasmus+ programme. UUK is awaiting further details on how this will work in practice. 

As a non-Associated Partner Country in the new Erasmus+ programme, UK institutions can still participate in Jean Monnet calls and Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree consortia (and lead the latter).   

All existing funding that was already granted to UK universities under the previous Erasmus+ scheme is unaffected, and for the duration of those grants nothing will change for UK participants. 

Issues that need clarifying 

  • Whether or not UK universities can participate in upcoming calls for the European University Initiative.  
  • How any potential overlapping issues between the Erasmus+ 2014–2020 programme and the Turing Scheme will be managed.  
  • As a short-term solution for mobility students who want to come to the UK on a work placement with funds from Erasmus+ (2014–2020), we are seeking confirmation from the Department for Education and the Home Office that the Erasmus+ programme (2014–2020) will not be removed from the Tier 5 Government-Authorised Exchange (GAE) list of approved schemes. This would provide stability and certainty for incoming students and enabling them to still apply for a Tier 5 visa.  

Turing Scheme 

What has been agreed? 

To replace Erasmus+, the UK government will launch the Turing scheme, which will provide £100 million in funding for 35,000 students in universities, colleges and schools to go on placements abroad from September 2021. 

While we await further details on the scale and scope of the new programme, it is already evident that: 
  • it will be global in nature (not Europe-specific);
  • it will target students from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • and it will not provide any funding to facilitate inbound student mobility. 
The British Council and Ecorys have been confirmed as delivery partners for the first year of the scheme. UUK is seeking urgent clarification from the UK government on how this new scheme will work in practice. 

Issues that need clarifying: 

  • What the timelines for implementation of the new scheme will be. First calls, evaluation process, and notification of success.  
  • What the criteria for bidding for funding will be (for universities and students) and what steps have to take to bid for funding. 
  • How the total budget of the scheme will be distributed between higher education, further education and schools. 
  • The degree of flexibility for institutions to allocate the funds.  
  • The audit and evaluation requirements and criteria.  



Pathways and flexibility are key to supporting lifelong learning

18 December 2020
Dave Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University, argues that if we are to facilitate lifelong learning and avoid ‘educational dead ends’, universities must play a core role in qualification design.

Student working on a bike

Funding for adult learners will boost the UK's economic recovery

30 September 2020
UUK's Julie Tam takes a look at the prime minister's announcement of a lifetime skills allowance, and what it means for the economy, society, and individuals.