More than 3,000 Scottish students are set to travel across the world to work and study as part of a UK Government scheme.
The Turing Scheme was established as a replacement for the the Eramus+ initiative after the UK left the European Union.
Now entering its second year, more than half of Scottish students who take part in the scheme will come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The Turing Scheme will see 16 universities, 11 further education providers and three schools across Scotland share in the £105m UK-wide fund.
Students taking part in the scheme will be given the chance to undertake study, school exchanges, and industry work placements in over 150 international destinations including the USA, Japan, Canada, Thailand and South Africa.
Iain Stewart, UK Government minister for Scotland, said: “As the Turing Scheme enters its second year, we’re determined to level up opportunity so that more students, irrespective of background, can access great experiences during their time studying.
“With schools, colleges and universities across Scotland set to send over 3,000 students abroad next year, and over half of all Turing Scheme students being from underrepresented groups, we’re ensuring no one’s background holds them back from living, learning and working overseas.”
This announcement builds on the success of the first year of the programme which saw Scottish students from institutions including the University of Edinburgh and Glasgow School of Art embark on journeys to every corner of the globe, from Switzerland to Singapore.
Further education providers who took part in the scheme’s first year included Glasgow Girls FC, which took 42 teenagers to Lanzarote to enjoy a fortnight of learning and work experience in sports and fitness.
With participants drawn from areas with high rates of deprivation and poverty, the programme gave those taking part the chance to travel and learn about different cultures, benefitting their development, wellbeing and future employment prospects.
Jamie Arrowsmith from Universities UK International said: “International experience has the power to change lives. The Turing Scheme provides opportunities to students in all corners of the UK education sector to study, train, and volunteer abroad for short or long periods that can fit around existing commitments and programme requirements.
“The key focus on widening access for students from non-traditional backgrounds is a real strength of the UK scheme and we are pleased to see the increase this year, in the grant funding allocation to support students from less advantaged backgrounds, which demonstrates the strong commitment from UK Government and UK higher education providers to widening access.
“Turing Scheme funding allows universities to develop new and innovative partnerships with organisations all across the globe, as well as sustaining strategically important relationships internationally.
“It is important that future funding for the scheme supports the scale of UK students’ appetite for international experiences, to maximise the transformative potential of the scheme.”