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Turing Scheme grants will top £750,000 this year


Student next to Elephant

The University of Bradford has received a huge boost to its Turing Scheme grant, meaning it will be able to offer £763,135-worth of overseas study and work placements to its students in 2023-2024.

The money represents a 60% uplift on last year’s allocation, meaning it will be able to award 426 grants in 2023/2024.

Students can apply to go to one of the following countries: Australia, Cambodia, Gambia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Nepal, Oman, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, USA, Vietnam, and Zambia.

Carlos Santos E Sousa, International Opportunities Co-ordinator, said: “We are really pleased with the increase we have received for this scheme. It means we will be able to offer more of our students life-changing experiences through international placement schemes relevant to their degrees in countries around the world.

“These experiences are life changing but as well as creating lifelong memories, they also offer hitherto unavailable opportunities to our students to experience study and work overseas, and enable them to gain a deeper understanding of the world.”

All students are eligible to apply for the scheme but the university is keen to support applications from students from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented groups, in line with the University’s strategy on improving social mobility and improving people’s life chances.

The Turing scheme - named after mathematician Alan Turing - replaced the previous Erasmus programme, which ended when the UK left the EU, and is organised in conjunction with Work The World — an organisation that facilitates overseas healthcare placements.

For example, a student doing a four-week placement can receive a Turing grant of around £2,000, and a student doing a nine-month placement can receive a grant of about £5,500.

In 2022: University of Bradford has been awarded £478,918 under the Turing Scheme in 2022/23 - the money funded 234 placements.

In 2021: The University of Bradford has been awarded £363,000.

Case study #1

Numerous students all stood waving from a long-wheelbase Land Rover

Devon Mitchell-McCann studied Paramedic Science at the University of Bradford and in her final year spent three weeks in Tanzania undertaking a placement.

She said: “I was a 4th year Paramedic and was chatting to my tutor at university about wanting to gain relevant experience abroad, so he informed me about a Turing Grant. They don’t usually grant it for 4th year students but I applied, got it and it funded over half the cost of my three-week placement to Tanzania.

“I was happy to go to any of the destinations Work the World offered on their website but it was the possibility of going on a safari that swung Tanzania for me. Going on safari is something I’ve always wanted to do, I know it’s expensive, but thought as I was heading to Tanzania, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“From the moment I booked my placement to the moment I got home, I never felt alone. I received detailed calls in the run up to my departure, the online placement planner was super helpful. I asked so many questions before I left, every single one of them was answered and I never felt stupid asking them. For me, this was exactly what I needed.

I spent three weeks in the Emergency Department which I found so incredible. There was a culture shock, but I guess I expected that.

As a paramedic it is so useful for me to have a better understanding of what happens in hospitals - in the UK for example we would hand the patient over to the A&E department and to an extent our job was then done, I would never get to see what then happened.

“It was so good to build new skills… it was difficult at times… but I adapted and I was supported, I loved it.”

She added: “I feel it has benefitted my communication skills, it has really boosted my confidence when having to deal with scenarios that I wasn’t necessarily expecting to come across - this is what I have to deal with all the time at work.

I feel so much calmer and more confident in my abilities and I know I’ll always be able to do my best. Putting myself into an unknown environment was daunting, but I did it, and I succeeded and I held my own. I put so many skills into practice that I learnt on my course and didn’t have the opportunity to practise in the UK.”

Case study #2

Student next to Elephant

Natasha Zera took part in a four-week placement at the Kandy National Hospital, Sri Lanka, where she worked with neurosurgeons, anaesthetists, and emergency trauma units.

She said: “In April 2022, I undertook a four-week placement in Kandy, Sri Lanka. My placement was in Kandy National Hospital, the second largest hospital within Sri Lanka.

“I spent time in different departments to gain further knowledge and experience of the health care system in Sri Lanka and how it differs from the systems we have in the UK. 

“My first week was spent with the neurosurgical department where I spent time learning about the conditions and reasons for admission to the ward. Neurosurgery was an area I have very little experience in and was very keen to learn about. I was able to witness a number of surgeries throughout my stay within the department and follow the service users care pathway from admission to discharge which I found highly rewarding.

“My second week was spent with the anaesthesiologists. I was fortunate to be the first ever nursing student to gain experience within this team as it is often only medical students allowed to undertake this placement.

“My final two weeks were spent in the Emergency Treatment Unit. 

“Outside of my time within the hospital, I was able to do a range of activities including: scuba diving, walking and bathing elephants within an elephant orphanage, climbing Adam's Peak and driving a tuk-tuk. These activates were amazing and were a good way to relax after a challenging week of placement. For anyone considering a placement abroad in Sri Lanka, just do it.” 

Case study #3

Student looking out over a sun-drenched beach

Grzegorz Jagiencarz, BSc Human Resource Management

Full Year Study Placement at Colorado Mesa University, United States

“A whole year abroad has benefitted me drastically. As hard as it was to say goodbye to everyone, friends and family alike, it was just as big and drastic for me to grow during my stay in the US.

“Undoubtedly trying to make the most of this time, studying, working and trying to relax, I learned how to manage myself very effectively and saw how many amazing things one can do if one only focuses on achieving them.

“I had a great opportunity to expand my academic skills and knowledge thanks to the amazing team of professors I had the opportunity to meet while studying at CMU. I am very grateful to both the University of Bradford and Colorado Mesa University for giving me the opportunity to explore the world in an even bigger way.”

Case study #4

A student picking fruit from trees

Natalia Dębska, BSc Psychology

Full Year Study Placement at Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland 

“My year of studying abroad in Finland as an exchange student has been a transformative experience, both personally and academically. I had the opportunity to apply and expand upon the academic knowledge and skills I had acquired in the field of psychology over my first two years of studies.

“Studying abroad at Abo Akademi as an exchange psychology student has been a positive and demanding journey, allowing me to consolidate and apply my academic knowledge while fostering personal growth, civil learning, and academic enhancement.

“This international opportunity has not only expanded my global perspective but also equipped me with invaluable skills and experiences that will serve as a foundation for my academic development and professional prospects.”

Case study #5

Student looking into camera with festive lights in tree behind

Grzegorz Bratus, BA Film and Television Production

Full Year Study Placement at the University of Regina, Canada 

“Over the course of the placement year, I learned how to better organise my time during research, planning, and development for my projects. I managed to improve my skills in video editing, thanks to my projects that required me to be creative in different ways that I am used to.

“I believe the main benefit that I obtained from the overseas placement is the realisation that every country and every culture approaches the same topics or tasks in different manners. While this took some time to realise and learn, I believe that now I know how to better spot those differences and adapt to them.

“This will be a crucial skill in the future if I ever have to make a deal with a person from another culture than mine since it will allow me to organise better, as well as deliver them higher quality work on my part.”