Turing Scheme Plant Ecology Program

Fully-funded programmes abroad in 2023

Welcome to Kaya’s Plant Ecology Abroad programme – as part of the UK government’s Turing Scheme.

This project is established for the purpose of offering training for Vocational and Further Education students in the field of Environmental Sciences and Land management. This program is based on the Turing Ecology Program run successfully in 2022, adapted with a more specific focus on land management to enable more participant spaces, due to high interest in this area.

These Turing programs are ideal for students currently studying land-based programs in Further education and Vocational institutions across the UK.

The programme will offer a 2-week training schedule within a choice of these three projects focusing on different aspects of land management. Training will be delivered by professionals within these fields and utilise existing training programs that have been developed specifically for the purposes of training individuals interested in these areas.

Participants on this project will have the opportunity to further their classroom-based environmental sciences and land management education by living within a unique new environment as they learn about the theory and engage in practices within each of these niche areas.

These locations have been selected to be able to fulfill the following criteria;

  • They are in an existing location where Kaya Responsible Travel operates and has ground operations in place that can support the hosting and logistic support of a visiting group of students
  • The host training programs have previous experience in receiving young international visitors and so are already familiar with the commitment requirements for hosting such a visit.
  • The cost of living can enable the delivery of a 2-week programme at a cost within the scope of the Turing grant offered to enable students to be offered placements at no additional cost, thus enabling the recruitment of a diverse group of students.
  • The local cultures and environments are distinctly different from those that exist in Europe, and particularly the UK, and these experiences would not be available domestically as a result.
  • These are locations of particular environmental interest that would be appealing to students studying in this field.
Planting Project

41 spaces will be available for each of these trips, with dates of April 1st –16th
(departure and return dates may vary by 1-2days depending on flights.)

1. Reforestation and Urban Greening – South Africa

This 15-day reforestation and urban greening training program takes place at a campground located near Cape Town, South Africa.

The program hosts a total of 41 students with 5 staff (from 2 Colleges).

This program introduces students to reforestation, and urban greening. Students will take part in practical ecosystem restoration work and attend educational workshops delivered by sustainability experts. Students will develop an understanding of the work that needs to be done to halt global ecosystem degradation, and the impact reforestation can have on issues such as climate change and food security.

Students will be involved in a variety of activities and workshops, including:

  • Reforestation tree planting: students will learn about effective passive and active restoration techniques, tree identification and plant indigenous trees to restore an existing ecosystem.
  • Urban  planting at local schools: Encouraging environmentalism through ecosystem restoration and environmental education at local community schools.
  • Eco-education workshops: students will learn from specialists working in the sustainable land management field
  • Alien vegetation clearing: the identification and removal of harmful plant species

30 spaces will be available for each of these trips, with a late June departure (departure and return dates may vary by 1-2days depending on flights.)

2. Permaculture and sustainable land management – Ecuador

A group of 15 students with 2 support adults will be housed together at on-site cabins, with 4-6 students in each single-gender room and adults in separate rooms. Will be provided with 3 meals a day at our accommodation.

Living on a reserve within the Cloudforest region of the Andes, this program trains people living in environmentally sensitive areas how they can develop sustainable farming and agricultural practices to maximize their land management techniques in environmentally friendly ways.

Teaching permaculture techniques, it focuses on regenerative agriculture, rewilding, integrated water resource management, and agricultural systems, modelled on the natural ecosystem.

Students will complete the training and put their theory into practice, working on the land at the project site, and work at turning their knowledge into materials that can be shared with potential schools and community groups interested in learning more about small-scale sustainable gardens.

30 spaces will be available for each of these trips, with a late June departure
(departure and return dates may vary by 1-2days depending on flights.)

3. Botanical Conservation, Restoration and Management – Kenya

The program hosts a group of 18 students with 2 support adults, housed in dorms and provided 3 meals a day.

This program introduces students to botanical conservation, restoration, and management practices in Kenya. Students will learn about the complexities of botanical spaces, such as natural and restored indigenous forests and botanical gardens. Students will engage with local organisations and professionals specialising in the protection, preservation, and promotion of these spaces.

As part of this training program, students will participate in fieldwork activities and educational workshops, to understand the intersections between botanical conservation, human development, and environmental stewardship. Students will learn about the principles of ecological and biodiversity restoration and environmental stewardship.

Students will be involved in a variety of activities and workshops, including:

  • Assisting with tree nursery management
  • Invasive species removal
  • Surveying restored forest
  • Greenhouse propagation, and plant species tagging in the botanical garden and indigenous forest
  • Students may also be involved in clearing land and tree planting.
  • In the evenings and during the weekends students will engage in culturally immersive activities, such as Swahili lessons, visiting local markets and wildlife parks, and attending cooking classes with local families.

At each location, students will be staying in group accommodation and participating in hands-on training within each working area.  The aim of this programme is to provide students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and practical skills, while learning about different cultures and environments to expand horizons and develop educated, compassionate global citizens.

All flights will depart from and return to the UK airport, and students will need to make their own arrangements for travel to and from home to the airport.

Covid Considerations

COVID vaccination and testing requirements will be dependent on each country. Face masks and social distancing could still be in place, dependent on local rules and laws. We will advise closer to departure.

Application criteria 

The Turing scheme aims to offer this opportunity to a broad range of students and, while we are looking for students studying related subjects, application evaluation is not based on your grades! We are looking for enthusiastic pupils aged 16+ who have an interest in ecology, land management and the environment. The scheme is fully funded by the UK government, so there will be no cost incurred other than a £200 confirmation fee for successful applicants. 

Relevant studies can include subjects related to: Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Geography, Agriculture,  Animal Sciences, etc. 

Application process

  • The application form below will be the only requirement for consideration for this program. 
  • If you are successful with your application, we strongly advise you look into visa requirements straight away.
  • A board of administrators will evaluate all applications to select successful applicants on a rolling basis, so we encourage early application. 
  • Once successful candidates have been notified, a £200 confirmation fee will be required to confirm the placement (hardship grants will be offered to cover this cost where necessary)
  • As part of this program, students will be expected to complete some pre-departure assignments, including online attendance at a pre-departure workshop. 
  • Flights from the UK Airport will be provided as part of the program, and students will be required to make their own way to the airport on departure, and home from the airport on our return.

Application deadline 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

  • Application form

  • Program selection

    Select which program you would like to be considered for. You may put your order of preference by putting “1” for your 1st choice, “2” for your second choice and “3” for your third choice. If you do not want to be considered for all programs, put a number against only those options you wish to apply for.
  • The dates I would be available to participate in this program are (tick all that apply);
  • Why choose me?

    Tell us, in your own words why you think you should be considered for this program, what your interests are in the field of ecology and environmental conservation and how you feel you might benefit from participation.
  • CV Upload

    Please upload a copy of your CV. You do not need to include details of any grades you may have received and we will not be assessing applications based on this information.
  • Accepted file types: docx, doc, pdf, jpg, png, Max. file size: 20 MB.