Disability & studying abroad

Support provided by the Turing Scheme

Before leaving the European Union, the UK participated in the ERASMUS exchange programme. This funded international study within the EU for EU students. Since Brexit, the UK is no longer part of the ERASMUS programme. It has replaced it with the Turing Scheme. This allows British students to study or work overseas and be funded to do so with the first placements starting in September of this year. If this is you, the programme guide will give you much of the information you need. If you are a disabled student applying to the Turing Scheme and want specialist advice, please make contact at the earliest opportunity.

Can a disabled student take advantage of the Turing Scheme?

Of course. For more information, follow this link. The UK government wants the scheme to be for everybody and recognises the importance of ensuring that the Turing Scheme accommodates every disabled student or those with Special Educational Needs. In terms of the support available, there are two things you need to know:

  1. The Turing Scheme will fund up to 100 % of actual costs for support directly related to your disability or in my case my vision impairment. This means that support such as mobility training will be funded by the scheme.
  2. The scheme will fund pre-placement visits of up to three days (excluding travel) and funding can be used for both students and accompanying staff.

Analysis from CrystalEyes

The fact that the government has recognised the importance of funding specialist support for disabled students is very welcome. This wasn’t the case under the terms of the ERASMUS programme. However, it is the funding of pre-placement visits that is the game changer. Though these visits are not compulsory, CrystalEyes strongly recommends that vision impaired students undertake these, COVID permitting. They will ensure that the necessary support is in place for when you arrive. Though the government are funding these for now, their approach will be demand-led. So your actions will directly impact the support students receive in the future.