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Essential coronavirus info
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Course Engagement Monitoring Guidance for UAL Students with a Tier 4/Student Visa

As your student visa sponsor, the University is required by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to monitor your engagement with your course.

If you are studying at UAL and you have applied for or received your Tier 4 or Student visa, this guidance will explain to you what course engagement is required and how this will be monitored under Covid-19. You must engage with all compulsory online sessions, meet deadlines for submission of work and communicate with academics and other relevant staff members via Moodle, email or other online communication platforms.

As long as you remain fully engaged with your course, the University will not withdraw sponsorship and your student visa and your student visa will still be valid.

Read the University Attendance Policy for HE students.

Attendance and engagement monitoring

1. Undergraduate and Postgraduate Courses

If you are UAL student with a Tier 4/Student visa and studying on an undergraduate or postgraduate course, your College Academic Registry Team will monitor one online engagement activity per week as a Core Weekly Online Activity.

In addition to the Core Weekly Online Activity, you must engage with all compulsory online course activity which can be used to monitor engagement, including:

Synchronous
  • Unit Briefings
  • Tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Lectures/seminars
Asynchronous
  • Weekly Moodle engagement
  • Submissions
  • Digital portfolios
  • Dissertation proposals

Online course activity can be through Skype, Microsoft Teams or similar technology and could include phone meetings and meaningful email communication between academics and students.

What will happen if I miss my core weekly online activity?

First Intervention

If you miss your core weekly activity for 3 consecutive weeks, there will be an intervention. Your Course Administration Team will ask you to complete a Course Engagement Form to ensure that:

  • you are given the opportunity to explain your non-engagement and provide evidence if applicable
  • you understand the University’s engagement policy
  • you understand the conditions of your student visa in regards to engagement
  • you understand the authorised absence process
  • you understand the conditions under which you will be allowed to return to studies and the consequences of further non-engagement.

If you fail to return your completed Course Engagement Form to your Course Administration Team within 5 working days you will be suspended form your course and your access to online College facilities will be removed until further notice.

If you return your completed Course Engagement Form to your Course Administration Team within 5 working days you will be able to continue your studies.

What happens if I fail to engage with my core weekly activity after the first intervention?

If you fail to engage with your core weekly activity for 30 calendar days during term time after the first intervention you will be suspended from your course and your access to online College facilities will be removed until further notice.

The Immigration Compliance Team will then investigate the nature of your absence and may consider taking more serious action which could result in your withdrawal from the University.

If you are withdrawn from the University, your withdrawal will be reported to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and your student visa will be curtailed (cancelled) by UKVI. You will then need to leave the UK within 60 days.

If you are studying at UAL with a student visa, you must engage fully with your course. Please note, repeated patterns of non-engagement may result in you being suspended from your course and could put you at risk of being withdrawn from the University.

What if I am unable to engage with my studies for up to 2 weeks during term time?

If you have an illness or other reason that prevents you from engaging with your studies for up to 2 weeks during term time, you must inform your Course Leader and your Course Administration Team. You may be required to produce evidence to support your absence.

What if I am unable to engage with my studies for longer than 2 weeks during term time?

If you have an illness or other reason that prevents you from engaging with your studies for longer than 2 weeks during term time, you must complete an Application for Authorised Absence Form (PDF 161KB). This must be returned to the Immigration Compliance Team by emailing ImmigrationCompliance@arts.ac.uk with evidence to support your absence.

The Immigration Compliance Team will assess your application and supporting evidence, and confirm by email to your UAL email account the result of the application. We will require written confirmation from your Course Leader in support of your absence and cannot make an authorisation without this.

If you know in advance that you are going to be absent from studies for longer than two weeks during term time, you must complete and submit the Application for Authorised Absence Form (PDF 161KB) no later than 10 working days before the absence. Requests made after this time may not be authorised.

If an application for authorised absence is not authorised, any missed course activities will be marked as non-attendance.

What is considered and authorised absence?

An authorised absence will be made in line with these categories:
  • Illness. Extended periods of illness must be accompanied by evidence e.g. medical certificate, doctors’ note.
  • Attendance at appointments considered inflexible e.g. doctors, college open days, religious requirements.
  • Mitigating circumstances e.g. bereavements, childcare, technical issues related to online study.
  • Academic related absences e.g. research trips, completing final projects.

Please note, we can only support absences for up to 4 weeks during term time. If you’re absent for longer than 4 weeks you may need to consider taking Time Out.

2. UAL students out on an exchange

If you are a UAL student with a student visa and on an exchange, your College Mobility Officer will send you an email detailing how your engagement will be monitored and you will receive an Academic Engagement Monitoring Form for each month of your exchange period.

You will be responsible for ensuring that your host institution completes an academic engagement form for each month of your exchange period. You must email the completed forms to your Course Administration Team each month. Each completed form will be evidence of your academic engagement with your host institution.

If you fail to return your completed Academic Engagement Form each month you may be suspended or withdrawn from the University, if this happens your withdrawal will be reported to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and your student visa will be curtailed (cancelled) by UKVI. You will then need to leave the UK within 60 days.

If you are studying at UAL with a Tier 4/Student visa, you must engage fully with your exchange. Please note, repeated patterns of non-engagement may result in you being suspended from your course and could put you at risk of being withdrawn from the University.

What if I am unable to engage with my studies for up to 4 weeks during term time?

If you have an illness or other reason that prevents you from engaging with your host institution for up to 4 weeks during term time, you must complete an Exchange Application for Authorised Absence Form (PDF 245KB). This must be returned to the Immigration Compliance Team by emailing ImmigrationCompliance@arts.ac.uk with evidence to support your absence.

The Immigration Compliance Team will assess your application and supporting evidence, and confirm by email to your UAL email account the result of the application and coping in your College Mobility Officer.

In addition, you must liaise with your host institution and ensure you meet their internal regulations.

Please note, we can only support absences for up to 4 weeks during term time. If you’re absent for longer than 4 weeks you may need to consider taking Time Out.

3. Postgraduate Research

If you are UAL student with a Tier 4/Student visa and studying on the Postgraduate Research course, you engagement will be monitored using the following points of contact:

  • One recorded academic contact per month (12 per year).
  • Monthly email contact between the Student Team Research Co-ordinator and the Director of Studies.
Academic Contact can include
  • In-person enrolment events
  • RNUAL attendance: Blocks 1-3 & and Study Days
  • Supervisory Meetings
  • Submission of the Application for Registration
  • The Confirmation Meeting
  • The Annual Report
  • Thesis submission
  • Viva Voce
  • Online Course Activity: This can be through Skype, Microsoft Teams or similar technology and could include phone meetings or meaningful email communication between academics and students.

Key points
  • You will have at least one academic contact for each month; it is not possible to have a number of academic contacts in a short period of time which can then be averaged out over the year.
  • The type of contacts throughout the year will vary.
  • At the start of each academic year you will be asked to agree your plan of academic contact with your supervisory team.
  • There will be one email contact each month between your Student Team Research Co-ordinator and your Supervisor.
  • The monitoring runs from October to September each year and term dates do not apply.
Example plan of academic contact based on a full-time student in their 1st year:
  • October - Supervisory meeting
  • November - Supervisory meeting
  • December - Supervisory meeting
  • January - Supervisory meeting
  • February - RNUAL Block 2 attendance
  • March - Supervisory meeting
  • April - Supervisory meeting
  • May - Supervisory meeting
  • June - RNUAL Block 3 attendance
  • July - Supervisory meeting
  • August - Supervisory meeting
  • September - Enrolment event

How will it work?

Academic contact

The Student Team Research Co-ordinator, Emily Ruff, is responsible for monitoring this policy. At the start of each academic year you will send your agreed academic contact plan to researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk

You should email the document confirming your academic contact by the end of each month. At the end of each month the Student Team Research Co-ordinator will check your academic contact plan and email you if the document is missing. Documents should be submitted as follows:

  • Supervision Record Sheets: Students should email the completed form, signed by themselves and their supervisory team, to researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk by the end of the month during which the supervisory meeting took place. Supervisors should be copied in.
  • RNUAL Attendance: The Research Student Team will check registers. Students need to sign into the event using their full name.
  • Application for Registration: Students should submit this form, signed by themselves and their supervisory team, to researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk
  • Confirmation Meeting Reports: The Director of Studies will submit this form to researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk
  • Annual Reports: Students should email the form to researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk
  • Thesis Submission: Students should email their thesis and submission declaration form to researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk or submit in person to a member of the Research Student Team by appointment.
  • Viva Voce: Examination in person or online, confirmed by submission of the Joint Final Report by the Viva Voce Chair.

If you are in writing up Writing Up Status, you will only have 5 supervision meetings scheduled for the year. You may schedule a meeting or email contact with the Student Team Research Coordinator in lieu of a meeting with your Supervisor. These meetings will be recorded in a Supervision Record Sheet, be signed by the student and Student Team Research Coordinator and submitted to researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk

Supervisor email
  • The Student Team Research Co-ordinator, Emily Ruff, is responsible for monitoring this policy
  • Each month the Student Team Research Co-ordinator will email the Director of Studies requesting an update on student engagement.
  • The Director of Studies will reply to the email giving an update on student engagement.
  • The Director of Studies update will be used as evidence of course engagement and will be recorded on the students’ engagement record.

What will happen if I miss my points of contact?

First intervention

If you miss 2 consecutive points of contact (academic contact or supervisor email), there will be an intervention. Your Student Team Research Co-ordinator will ask you to complete a Course Engagement Form to ensure that:

  • You are given the opportunity to explain your non-engagement and provide evidence if applicable
  • you understand the University’s engagement policy
  • you understand the conditions of your student visa in regards to engagement
  • you understand the authorised absence process
  • you understand the conditions under which you will be allowed to return to studies and the consequences of further non-engagement.

If you fail to return your completed course engagement form to your Student Team Research Co-ordinator within 5 working days you will be suspended from your course and your access to online College facilities will be removed until further notice.

If you return your completed Course Engagement Form to your Student Team Research Co-ordinator within 5 working days you will be able to continue your studies.

What happens if I fail to engage with my points of contact after the first intervention?

If you fail to engage with your points of contact for 30 calendar days after the first intervention you will be suspended from your course and your access to online College facilities will be removed until further notice.

The Immigration Compliance Team will then investigate the nature of your absence and may consider taking more serious action which could result in your withdrawal from the University.

If you are withdrawn from the University, your withdrawal will be reported to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and your student visa will be curtailed (cancelled) by UKVI. You will then need to leave the UK within 60 days.

If you are studying at UAL with a student visa, you must engage fully with your course. Please note, repeated patterns of non-engagement may result in you being suspended from your course and could put you at risk of being withdrawn from the University.

What if I am unable to engage with my studies for up to 2 weeks during term time?

If you have an illness or other reason that prevents you from engaging with your studies for up to 2 weeks, you must inform your Director of Studies and the Research Student Team at researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk. You may be required to produce evidence to support your absence.

What if I am unable to engage with my studies for longer than 2 weeks during term time?

If you have an illness or other reason that prevents you from engaging with your studies for longer than 2 weeks, you must complete an Application for Authorised Absence Form (PDF 161KB). This must be returned to the Research Student Team at by emailing researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk with evidence to support your absence.

The Research Student Team will assess your application and supporting evidence, and confirm by email to your UAL email account the result of the application.

If you know in advance that you are going to be absent from studies for longer than two weeks, you must complete and submit the Application for Authorised Absence Form (PDF 161KB) no later than 1 month before the absence. Requests made after this time may not be authorised.

If an application for authorised absence is not authorised, any missed points of contact will be marked as non-attendance.

Academic-related absences must be approved by your Director of Studies. An Authorised Absence Form must be completed stating the date of departure and the date of return, along with an agreement that contact will be made with your Director of Studies at least once during the absence.

Study Away

You may be permitted to study away from UAL either in another city or country if you are required to collect data or conduct research as part of your project. You will be permitted to study away for up to 60 calendar days per academic year. To request a Study Away Form or if you would like to discuss your plans for Study Away, please contact the Research Student Team at researchdegrees@arts.ac.uk.

What is considered and authorised absence?

An authorised absence will be made in line with these categories:

  • Illness. Extended periods of illness must be accompanied by evidence e.g. medical certificate, doctors’ note.
  • Attendance at appointments considered inflexible e.g. doctors, college open days, religious requirements.
  • Mitigating circumstances e.g. bereavements, childcare, technical issues related to online study.
  • Academic related absences e.g. research trips, completing final projects.

Please note, we can only support absences for up to 4 weeks. If you’re absent for longer than 4 weeks you may need to consider taking Time Out.

Changes to your circumstances

Remember to inform the Immigration Compliance team of any changes to your circumstances by emailing: ImmigrationCompliance@arts.ac.uk

Changes may include:

  • If you have lost your passport or visa or it has been stolen
  • If you decide to withdraw or take time out from study
  • If you switch to a different immigration category during your studies
  • If your visa or passport expires during your course and you receive a new one
  • If you have a visa refusal.

For immigration and visa advice, contact the Student Advice Service.

Immigration Compliance Team

Email: ImmigrationCompliance@arts.ac.uk

You can also check UAL's Coronavirus updates and our Coronavirus: Tier 4 visa FAQs for information on how your attendance is being monitored during the Covid-19 outbreak.