Hull College students set to study in St. Lucia thanks to Turing Scheme funding success

Hull College has been successful in its bid to be part of the UK’s global programme that will enable its students to experience studying abroad for free.

The college is one of only two education providers in the Hull and East Yorkshire region to receive funding from the Turing Scheme for the 2023/24 academic year. Named after the pioneering British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, the scheme represents the UK’s global initiative to fund international opportunities for students from all backgrounds in education and training worldwide.

In a highly competitive field, the Turing Scheme received 619 applications for the 2023/24 academic year. Out of these, only 480 were approved to receive grant funding, totalling £107 million. This funding will enable over 40,000 students, learners, and pupils throughout the UK to partake in life-changing international experiences, including study, school exchanges, and industry work placements in more than 160 destinations around the world.

To be awarded funding, educational institutions had to submit a proposal clearly setting out the aims, objectives and impact of their project. Hull College’s successful proposal will allow ten of their creative arts students to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture, heritage, and artistry of St. Lucia over 15 days in February 2024.

Under the guidance of local artists and in collaboration with Caribbean Elective, the students will participate in hands-on workshops and collaborative projects. These unique opportunities will not only enrich their artistic skills but also allow them to contribute positively to local communities facing economic challenges.

The highlight of the trip will see the students working closely with St. Lucia’s artistic luminaries, exploring the country’s heritage through various art forms, including sculptures, woodwork, painting, fashion, and ceramics. The group will even have the chance to contribute to the painting of a community mural in the village of Gros Islet, located on the northern tip of the Caribbean Island.

Key cultural experiences include visits to local galleries and exhibitions, such as the Morne Fortune Museum and Art Gallery and Eudovic Art Gallery, providing the students with a comprehensive understanding of St. Lucia’s rich cultural and artistic history.

Gemma Hartley, Head of The Institute of Arts at Hull College, expressed her enthusiasm ahead of the upcoming trip and said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured funding from the Turing Scheme programme to provide this exciting opportunity for our talented arts students. For some students, a placement or study trip can be their first time travelling abroad, aiding their independence towards adulthood. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students involved and will provide them with an invaluable experience for succeeding in their future careers.

“Working alongside our partners at the Caribbean Elective, we have worked hard to ensure the trip will provide our students with the chance to broaden their horizons and gain a deeper understanding of art and culture in an international context. It’s not just about learning artistic techniques; it’s about creating a positive impact and forming lasting connections with communities abroad.

“The experience gained during this trip will be a unique highlight on their CVs and will see them build and develop key employability skills such as communication, collaboration, teamwork, and problem-solving. Additionally, it will allow them to showcase their ability to work in diverse environments, integrate with different cultures, and contribute meaningfully to communities.”