Tier 4 Attendance and Engagement Monitoring

The UKVI requires the University of South Wales, as your Tier 4 sponsor, to undertake specific processes and procedures when enrolling Tier 4 international non-EU students.  One of these being to monitor your attendance and engagement with your course. We do this to keep all of our students safe, as we must protect our Tier 4 Sponsor Licence and the immigration status of our Tier 4 international non-EU students.

This page sets out:

  •      What we expect from you in relation to attendance and engagement
  •      How we will monitor your attendance and engagement
  •      What will happen if you do not attend and engage as required

If you have difficulties attending University, please discuss this with our Immigration and International Student Advice team so that your immigration status is not put at risk.

If you are unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstance please visit our Leave of Absence page for more information.

Further information about your responsibilities as a Tier 4 sponsored student can be found on the Immigration and International Student Advice website. 

If you fail to adhere to the Tier 4 Engagement Monitoring Policy requirements you could risk being withdrawn from your course. The University could withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship, which could result in your Tier 4 visa being curtailed by the UKVI. You would then need to leave the UK.

This policy applies to all students studying at the University of South Wales with a Tier 4 visa.

As a Tier 4 International student you are required to engage with your course online, attend classes and any other academic engagements, and meet your coursework/assessment submission requirements.

You are also expected to live within the South Wales/South West area and you must have a commutable term time address in the South Wales/South West area in order to attend the University.  It is also a requirement of your sponsorship as a Tier 4 student at USW that you keep your current address and telephone number up to date, this is also for your own protection as we will use these details to notify you if there is an issue with your attendance/engagement as detailed below.

If you fail to adhere to the Tier 4 Engagement Monitoring Policy requirements you could risk being withdrawn from your course. The University could withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship, which could result in your Tier 4 visa being curtailed by the UKVI. You would then need to leave the UK.

Engagement monitoring stages for students on taught courses (undergraduate degree level)

There are four stages of the Tier 4 Engagement Monitoring policy. If you adhere to the policy you will remain at Stage 0, which means that no action is required as you are meeting the conditions of the Tier 4 Engagement Monitoring Policy.  If you do not adhere to the policy requirements, you will be considered to be in breach and you will progress through the stages below.

Your engagement with your course will be monitored via interaction with the virtual learning environment (VLE) and submission of work. Attendance at physical events will also be monitored.

Stage 1 
If you reach Stage 1, you will be sent automated communications from the engagement system reminding you to engage with your course online, attend classes and submit assessments, where appropriate (including emails to your student and personal accounts).

Stage 2
After 14 days of missed interactions, you will move to Stage 2. You will be sent a personalised email to your student and personal accounts inviting you to attend a meeting with your campus administrator to discuss your non-attendance/engagement. At this point, your campus administration team will liaise with academic colleagues and use USW systems to check classroom attendance and levels of engagement with USW IT systems. You may be put on an action plan at the meeting to assist with your attendance and engagement.

Stage 3
Continuous failure to attend/engage thereafter will result in you being moved to Stage 3. You will receive a personalised email to your student and personal accounts notifying you of the University’s intention to withdraw you from your course and withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship. Information regarding the appeals process and the deadline for submission will be provided.

Stage 4
If you fail to lodge a successful appeal, you will be moved to Stage 4, be withdrawn from your course and your Tier 4 sponsorship will be withdrawn. Consequently, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will take steps to curtail your visa and will no longer be able to remain in the UK. You will receive a personalised email to your student and personal accounts confirming that you have been withdrawn from studies and that the University has withdrawn Tier 4 sponsorship and that the UKVI have been informed accordingly.

The table below gives a summary of what to expect if you fail to adhere to the Tier 4 Engagement Monitoring requirements.

Taught students engagement monitoring stages.JPG

Engagement monitoring for students undertaking their dissertation/project

If you are undertaking a dissertation/ project after your teaching has finished (normally post-graduate courses and select undergraduate courses) we will monitor your engagement with your supervisor at the half way point of your dissertation/project and then again at the end. If you are not engaging satisfactorily between these check points your course leader will notify us and we will commence stage 2 of the policy above.

Engagement monitoring stages for students on taught courses (below undergraduate degree level e.g. stand-alone CertHE’s or a foundation year where you have to apply for a new CAS to move to the degree programme)

If you are studying on a course which is below undergraduate level, e.g. a stand-alone CertHE or a foundation year where you have to apply for a new CAS to move to the degree programme, you must attend a minimum of 15 hours of daytime (08:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday) classroom-based study per week. If you do not reach 85% attendance of your classroom-based study in any given month, the university must review the reason for your absence. You will be placed on an action plan. We will then update your student record with the reason for the non-attendance and the steps being taken to improve your attendance.

If your attendance falls below 70% for three consecutive months, the university will withdraw our sponsorship due to lack of academic engagement unless there are exceptional and evidenced reasons for the non-attendance (e.g. illness).

Engagement monitoring stages for students studying at postgraduate research level

There are four stages of the University’s Engagement Monitoring policy for students who are studying at postgraduate research level. If you adhere to the policy you will remain at Stage 0, which means that no action is required as you are meeting the conditions of the Tier 4 Engagement Monitoring Policy.

Stage 1

If you do not log an engagement with your supervisors on PhD Manager for more than 4 weeks, you will be in breach of the University’s requirements and will progress through the stages. At Stage 1, you will be flagged as amber within the visa monitoring dashboard on PhD Manager and will receive a reminder from the Graduate School to log your engagement within the system. 

Stage 2

If you do not log an engagement with your supervisors on PhD Manager for more than 5 weeks, you will reach Stage 2 and your record will be flagged as amber within the visa monitoring dashboard on PhD Manager. You will receive an email from the Graduate School inviting you to attend a meeting with a representative from the Graduate School to discuss your non-engagement. At this point, the Graduate School may check other ‘key’ engagements.

 These include:

  1. Submission of a key stage application e.g. Annual Progress Review, Transfer Report or Thesis
  2. Attendance at a viva examination or a formal skills development workshop

Stage 3

Continuous failure to attend/engage thereafter will result in you being moved to Stage 3 and your record will be flagged as red on the visa monitoring dashboard on PhD Manager. You will receive a personalised email to your student and personal accounts notifying you of the University’s intention to withdraw you from your course and withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship. Information regarding the appeals process and the deadline for submission will be provided.

Stage 4

If you fail to lodge a successful appeal, you will be moved to Stage 4, be withdrawn from your course and your Tier 4 sponsorship will be withdrawn. Consequently, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will take steps to curtail your visa and will no longer be able to remain in the UK. You will receive a personalised email to your student and personal accounts confirming that you have been withdrawn from studies and that the University has withdrawn Tier 4 sponsorship and that the UKVI have been informed accordingly.

The table below gives a summary of what to expect if you fail to adhere to the Tier 4 Engagement Monitoring requirements.

Postgraduate Research student engagement monitoring stages.JPG

Centre for International English Students

Attendance on courses run by the Centre for International English is compulsory. Students must attend every day. Students who do not attend and are unable to account for their non-attendance will be withdrawn from their studies.

Academic Registry will notify you of the intention to withdraw you from the course and provide details of the appeals process. If you fail to lodge a successful appeal, you will be withdrawn from your course and your Tier 4 sponsorship will be withdrawn. Consequently, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will take steps to curtail your visa and will no longer be able to remain in the UK. You will receive a personalised email to your student and personal accounts and/or a letter to your term address confirming that you have been withdrawn from studies and that the University has withdrawn Tier 4 sponsorship and that the UKVI have been informed accordingly.

Temporary concessions to the Tier 4 Engagement Monitoring Policy in response to Covid 19

All information below is based on UKVI Covid Guidance available at the time of writing.  Due to the fluid nature of the situation and government response, this may be removed or amended when deemed appropriate to do so based on UK/Welsh government advice.

Distance learning – outside UK

If you are an international student at USW and:

  • have received a CAS
or

  • have applied for and received your visa,

or

  • have an existing visa,

your engagement with your course will be monitored.  As per the Tier 4 Covid 19 guidance, if you stop engaging with the distance learning provision for 30 days, the university will be obligated to withdraw sponsorship/your CAS as appropriate.  If you have received your visa, the UKVI may then take steps to curtail your visa.

Blended learning – in UK

USW expects that you engage with your course both online and in person where it is safe to do so.  If there are Covid 19 related reasons that prevent this, then it is your responsibility to advise USW regarding your situation and take appropriate advice.

If you stop engaging with the distance learning provision for 30 days, the university will be obligated to withdraw sponsorship/your CAS as appropriate.  If you have received your visa, the UKVI may then take steps to curtail your visa.

Attendance on courses run by the Centre for International English is compulsory. Students must attend every day. Students who do not attend and are unable to account for their non-attendance will be withdrawn from their studies.

If you are/will be undertaking a work placement as part of your course, you must contact the Tier 4 Admin team so that you fully understand how your engagement will be monitored whilst you are not studying on campus.

If you are studying a postgraduate level programme at the University of South Wales, it is important that you understand that the entire programme, with the exception of official vacation periods, is considered to be full time study, including any time spent writing your dissertation or final project.

You may, in limited circumstances, be granted permission to undertake the later stages of your programme from your home country, but this is entirely at the discretion of your academic supervisor and will not be granted unless your supervisor is confident that you have progressed sufficiently and can be adequately supported while away.

Additionally, permission to undertake periods of study away must be academically necessary (i.e. you are collecting data from a company in your home country) and not for personal reasons such as the expiry of a tenancy. There is an expectation that students are aware and have planned for the total duration of the course, including writing up periods and as such have planned to remain in the UK for the total course duration. Please visit our Leave of Absence page for more information.