Student Visa Attendance and Engagement
You must attend and engage on your course in order to remain in the UK with a Student or Tier 4 visa.
Please see the webpage and the video below for more information about the University’s approach to attendance monitoring.
You should also read your handbook to find out your department’s specific attendance monitoring processes and how to inform them if you are absent from studies.
As required by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the University must check your attendance and engagement on your course and is obligated to withdraw sponsorship of your visa if you have been absent from your studies without permission or have not been engaging sufficiently.
This occurs if you have missed a number of consecutive contact points or have been absent from, or not engaging with, your studies for a sufficient period of time. Withdrawal of your Student Visa sponsorship would result in withdrawal from the University.
You must ensure you are aware of your responsibilities in relation to attendance and your Student or Tier 4 visa. They are:
- To attend your studies regularly in-person and to maintain a high level of engagement with your studies online
- To ensure your attendance is recorded (for the modules where a record is taken). Not recording your attendance, or forgetting to do so, is not an adequate explanation for absences on your attendance record.
- To inform your department of any absences. You should contact your department or read your handbook to check how they wish for you to inform them. You may need to submit a self-certification or an extenuating circumstances form. Long-term absences require a leave of absence form to be completed.
- To inform your department of any ongoing issues or problems that are affecting your ability to attend your studies.
- To check your emails regularly and respond to any correspondence regarding your attendance or engagement. It is your responsibility to reply within any relevant period.
- To provide any supporting evidence regarding non-attendance where requested by International Student Support and within the period provided.
At various intervals during the academic year departments will provide central services with the student attendance and online engagement data they have recorded. This attendance data is reviewed and any students whose attendance is of concern are passed to International Student Support. These are called ‘Attendance Review Periods’.
- If your attendance and engagement is a concern, you will receive a warning email. Following this email you should return to studies as soon as possible. No further action is required if you do so.
- If you are at serious risk of withdrawal of sponsorship, you will receive an email requesting that you attend an appointment with a member of International Student Support. You must attend this appointment, in which you will be advised of actions you need to take within a set timeframe in order to continue your studies.
- In a small number of cases where non-attendance or engagement is significant or has been a recurring issue the University may proceed to escalate your case straight to the Panel stage to consider further action and potential withdrawal from studies.
If the level of non-attendance or engagement is a serious or continued concern then a Student Visa Attendance Panel will convene to consider your sponsorship and studies at the University.
If this occurs then you will be informed in advance of the decision and provided an opportunity to provide any relevant information and evidence as part of the decision-making process.
The Panel would proceed to make a decision based on the available attendance and engagement information and in conjunction with your department. The decision will be communicated to you via email and you would be given a short period in which to appeal the decision.
After the appeal stage, your options would be to either follow the University Complaints Procedure or make a formal Readmission Request. This will depend on whether you accept the decision made by the Student Visa Attendance Panel. The decision will remain in place until and unless the complaint or readmission process is successful.
The English Language Teaching Centre have their own attendance monitoring processes. ELTC has their own thresholds for non-attendance and a separate procedure in cases where attendance is a concern.
If you are studying in ELTC then the Student Visa Attendance Policy detailed above does not apply to you. ELTC will contact you if your attendance becomes a concern and provide further instruction.
Does this apply to me if I am studying online via remote learning due to Covid-19?
Yes. If you are sponsored under a Student or Tier 4 visa you will be required to remain actively engaged with your online studies on a regular basis. This means accessing online learning materials, attending online lectures or seminars, submitting assessments on-time and remaining in contact with your department.
If you do not engage with your online learning then your sponsorship and studies at the University would be at risk of withdrawal.
What if I am absent from studies for a Covid-19 related reason?
If you miss studies for a reason related to Covid-19 then you must inform your department as soon as possible. This is because absences due to Covid-19 will not be considered as unauthorised absences and will not be an issue.
However, it is your responsibility to inform your department of this at the time it occurs, as they must have a record of this. This would apply for example if you have Covid-19 symptoms and cannot study, whereas if you are self-isolating or cannot travel due to Covid restrictions then in many cases you should still be able to continue studying remotely.
How do I find out more about how my attendance is recorded?
Please check your programme handbook in the first instance. If you still have questions please contact your department directly and they will be able to provide more information.
Attendance can be monitored in a variety of ways and for a range of 'events'. These could include lectures, seminars, supervisor meetings and labs.
What should I do if I think my attendance data is incorrect?
The attendance data is provided by your department. If you think there is an error please contact your department administrative office.
Who should I contact if I have an issue that is affecting my attendance?
You can speak to your personal tutor or a student support staff member within your department. You can also contact International Student Support who will be able to signpost you to relevant support services
The University provides many services to support students who may be struggling for a variety of reasons such as health, academic or financial. Please see the Student Support Services website.
It is important that you take action to resolve any issues as quickly as possible so that your attendance and engagement is not affected. If you are continually absent from studies because of an ongoing issue, e.g. a medical condition, then UKVI would still expect the University to withdraw sponsorship. This may mean going on a leave of absence and returning home until you are fit to resume.