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Academic engagement monitoring for Student and Tier 4 visa holders

Find out more about the current academic engagement monitoring policy and process for Student and Tier 4 visa holders (academic year 2021/22)

Academic engagement monitoring

As a Sponsor, we are responsible for monitoring Student and Tier 4 visa holders' engagement with their studies, and reporting any changes to the Home Office. In line with UKVI guidance, the University of Bath has an academic engagement monitoring policy. This policy is applied consistently across the organisation.

The policy has been designed to ensure that any potential welfare issues, which may be indicated by poor attendance or poor engagement, are identified promptly so that appropriate support can be provided.

The Student Immigration Service has devised a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions guide to help you navigate the new policy and process.

Who we monitor engagement for

This policy applies to all international students, including visiting students and scholars, studying under the sponsorship of the University of Bath on a Student or Tier 4 visa.

Why engagement is monitored

Engagement is monitored so we can:

  • provide appropriate advice and / or counselling to students who do not engage with their studies regularly
  • comply with our responsibilities as a Sponsor, and maintain this status
  • make sure we provide accurate information on funding to external government bodies

How engagement is monitored

As a student at Bath, you are considered to be academically engaging if you are actively and consistently following your course of study.

If you are a taught student

If you are an undergraduate, postgraduate taught or 1st year of Integrated PhD student, your academic engagement will be monitored through a mix of online and physical engagement points. The following engagement points will be recorded:

  • coursework and assessment submissions on Moodle
  • Panopto lecture attendance of 50 aggregated minutes per day (or longer)
  • Microsoft Teams meetings attendance
  • physical attendance at teaching or study sessions, including labs, tutorials, workshops, studios, lectures, etc. using the SafeZone app.

During term-time, you are required to meet a minimum of one engagement point per week (online or / and physical), as well as two physical engagement points per month.

Alternative arrangements may be made for courses where standard engagement points are not possible. Departments are encouraged to make contact with the Student Immigration Service as soon as possible if alternatives must be found.

If you are not able to come to the UK for the start of your course due to Covid-related reasons, your academic engagement will be monitored solely via weekly online engagement points until such time as you are able to come to campus.

Note: if you are on placement, fieldwork or study abroad programme, you are subject to alternative electronic engagement points which are monitored by the Student Immigration Service.

If you are a doctoral student

If you are a doctoral student, your engagement points include meetings recorded by your supervisor once every three months, six-monthly progress reports and other electronic means via which the Student Immigration Service may assess your engagement with your research.

SafeZone

Physical engagement points for taught students will be monitored via the SafeZone app.

The University of Bath’s SafeZone app is already used across the University to support emergency messaging and can help with Covid-19 contact tracing, tailored to our University community.

Downloading SafeZone

  • As a Student or Tier 4 visa holder, you are required to download the free SafeZone app. You may download it for iOS or download it for Android.

  • You will need to sign in using your University username and password.

  • Once you have downloaded the app, you must enable Location Services for the app to work correctly. This only allows the app to share your location when you check-in to a face-to-face teaching / studio / workshop / study / lab session.

Our short film describes how to download and use the app.

If you encounter technical issues with the SafeZone app, please log in a ticket using TopDesk.

If you do not have a mobile device, you should contact the Student Immigration Service immediately so that specific arrangements for engagement monitoring can be agreed with your department.

Using SafeZone to meet your physical engagement points

  • As per the policy, by using the app to ‘check-in’ at your teaching / study sessions (including lab, studio, workshops, etc.) at least twice a month, you will be able to demonstrate you are engaging with your course by attending your face-to-face study sessions on campus.

  • Meeting your two monthly physical engagement points is in addition to evidencing weekly academic engagement (through online and / or physical engagement points).

  • To minimise disruptions to your studies and ensure adherence to this policy, you are strongly encouraged to select “automatic check-in" on your app. The Student Immigration Service will only select data that is required for academic engagement monitoring purposes to meet UKVI requirements, as set out in our policy. If you choose not to select automatic check-in on your SafeZone app, you will be required to manually check-in when attending academic sessions on campus.

Lack of engagement (taught students)

The Student Immigration Service will review the engagement of all taught Student / Tier 4 visa holders retrospectively on a weekly basis (online and physical engagement points) as well as on a monthly basis (physical engagement points only).

If you have failed to engage at all for more than 7 consecutive calendar days, you will be asked to request an authorised absence if the period during which you will not be able to meet your engagement requirements will continue.

Where no authorised absence is recorded, the Student Immigration Service will inform your Director of Studies if you:

  • fail to engage at all for a minimum of 14 consecutive days or
  • fail to meet your weekly engagement point in any 2 weeks or
  • fail to meet your monthly engagement points after 2 months

Further actions will be taken should the lack of engagement continue, or should you fail to provide acceptable reasons for your non-engagement.

The full process is detailed in the the Academic engagement monitoring policy.

Important: If you fail to engage at all for 60 consecutive days after the Student Immigration contacts you (or 30 consecutive days if you are studying remotely from outside the UK), we will withdraw sponsorship of your Student / Tier 4 visa. This will lead to your visa being cancelled and you will be required to leave the UK. Your Director of Studies may also be asked to follow the Procedure to respond to poor attendance.

Lack of engagement (doctoral students)

If you have failed to meet any two engagement points, the Student Immigration Service will contact your doctoral supervisor who will be asked to confirm by e-mail within 10 days that you are engaging with your studies. Reminders will be sent if necessary.

If more engagement points are recorded as missed, or if no acceptable explanation is given for your lack of engagement, the Head of Department may be contacted.

Lack of engagement (all students)

If at any stage, your Director of Studies or doctoral supervisor cannot confirm that you are engaging with your studies, they will be asked to follow the Procedure to respond to poor attendance.

Consequences for poor engagement

You will be contacted by your department if your engagement is poor. This is to find out if there is a problem and whether you require any support. You should respond immediately to any contact you receive from your department or any other member of staff.

In particular circumstances, and where appropriate, the University may decide that it is necessary to follow the missing student protocol.

The consequences of not attending and engaging with your course are severe. Attendance may mean physical attendance if required or virtual attendance (such as online meetings, seminars, lectures, etc.).

University of Bath Regulation 3.1 states:

"Students shall attend regularly. If a student's attendance is not satisfactory, or if a student is unable to attend for legal reasons, the Director of Academic Registry, authorised to act under power delegated by Senate, and following consultation with the student's Faculty or School, may determine that the student be precluded from continuing their studies and, where applicable, their registration be terminated. A student who is prevented for legal reasons from attending will, in the first instance, normally be suspended for a period not exceeding 12 months. Where registration is terminated, a person who ceases in this way to be a student of the University may make representations to the Vice-Chancellor, who may exercise statutory power to re-admit the student."

Support for disabilities or illness

If you are unable to meet your engagement or attendance requirements due to disability or illness, an alternative will be arranged if appropriate.

If you have any queries regarding this, please contact your Director of Studies or doctoral supervisor.

Enquiries

If you have any questions, please contact us.