UCML welcomes the announcement included in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 that funding for the Turing Scheme will continue for the next three years, including an allocation of £110 million for the academic year 2022/23. One of UCML’s core concerns since the introduction of the Turing Scheme in 2021 was that it was initially funded for one year only. This offered little security to modern languages programmes seeking to recruit students due to undertake compulsory mobilities years into the future. This shift to a multi-annual commitment is therefore a positive one.
While recognising the greater possible mobility models enabled by the Turing Scheme and the move to fund mobility beyond Europe, UCML remains concerned by the lack of reciprocity within the scheme and the absence of staff mobility. We also note that the total sum allocated to Turing has not increased. Many departments in the 21/22 academic year have been able to draw on Erasmus+ funds to cover student mobility. This will no longer be the case in 22/23. In a survey of modern languages departments carried out in August 2021, UCML found that 21/22 Turing allocations across the sector were insufficient to fund modern languages mobilities in the long term. We therefore keenly await the further details promised alongside the government’s forthcoming response to the Augar report and will continue to work closely with the sector as we navigate this new landscape for student mobility.