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New scheme to broaden Leicester students’ international ambitions

Leicester students will have the chance to broaden their horizons and enhance their studies with global opportunities through a new £110million UK Government scheme.

The University of Leicester has been awarded funding to deliver international study and work experiences in the 2021/22 academic year as part of the Turing Scheme, supported by the British Council and Ecorys UK.

Students from a wide range of degree types and levels, as well as recent graduates, will have the opportunity to study and/or work abroad to augment their teaching at Leicester.

Funded opportunities offer students and graduates alike a ‘springboard’ towards their career ambitions through internationally-relevant experience. Flexible placements are available from four weeks up to as long as 12 months abroad.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester, said: “The University of Leicester is a truly global university, and we are delighted to be able to continue to offer international opportunities to our students with this new Turing Scheme.

“Not only will these experiences help to develop our students’ key skills through unique career-building opportunities, but they will also offer the priceless prospect of broadening horizons and help to forge new relationships across the world. The University of Leicester has one of the most diverse student bodies in the UK.

“Through this vital funding, students from a wide variety of backgrounds will have the chance to enhance their ambitions with a global experience.” 

The Turing Scheme supplements the existing EU-supported Erasmus+ programme, which the University of Leicester will participate in until the end of 2023 following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

The UK Government has set aside £110million for Turing Scheme funding opportunities, which aim to enhance existing relationships as part of the vision for a Global Britain, and align with the national ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson 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.

“By strengthening our partnerships with the finest institutions across the globe, the Turing Scheme delivers on the Government’s post-Brexit vision, and helps a new generation grasp opportunities beyond Europe’s borders.”

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan added: “Our schools, colleges and universities have worked tirelessly to make this programme a success, and I am grateful to them and their global partners who have truly embraced this opportunity for international collaboration.

“I look forward to seeing the innovation and expertise our students, pupils and vocational learners bring back to this country from their journeys to every corner of the globe – from Canada to Japan, and Australia to the United States.”

More information on the University of Leicester’s Study Abroad Unit, which enables international opportunities for students and staff through the Turing Scheme, Erasmus+ and further exchange programmes is available at le.ac.uk/cite/study-abroad-unit.

The Turing Scheme is named after mathematician and AI pioneer Alan Turing. The University of Leicester also hosts one of just 15 Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships in the UK as part of a £20 million investment delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

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