University of Bath

Attendance monitoring for Tier 4 students

Find out what to do when changing your studies or requesting an absence from the University.

Attendance monitoring and engagement

As a Tier 4 sponsor we are responsible for monitoring your engagement with your studies, and reporting any changes to the Home Office.

Our attendance monitoring and engagement policy sets out the requirements for students who hold a Tier 4 visa.

Why attendance is monitored

Attendance is monitored so we can:

  • provide appropriate advice and/or counselling to students who do not attend regularly
  • comply with our responsibilities as a Tier 4 sponsor, and maintain this status
  • make sure we provide accurate information on funding to external government bodies

How attendance is monitored

Your attendance is monitored both face-to-face and electronically, to make sure you are engaging with your studies. We will spread contact points across the academic year, to cover your study periods.

Changing your course of study

Changing your course (including adding or dropping a placement) may affect your Tier 4 visa. You might have to apply for a new visa overseas before the change can take place.

If you wish to change your programme at Bath:

  • first discuss the matter with your personal tutor, postgraduate tutor or supervisor
  • your tutor or supervisor will then submit a Change of Circumstance form to the Student Immigration Service
  • the Student Immigration Service will check whether your course change is permitted by immigration, and advise you

Finishing your course early

If your course ends earlier than expected we will report this to UKVI. Your permission to stay will then be curtailed (shortened) to your new end date, plus the additional time granted on your original visa (4 months for degree courses, or 6 months if you are on the pilot scheme).

Suspending your studies

Make sure you talk to a Student Immigration Adviser before you suspend your studies.

If you suspend your course, the University is legally obliged to inform UKVI and:

  • you will need to leave the UK as soon as possible, and within 60 days
  • you may be able to apply for a tuition fee refund
  • your course end date is likely to change
  • your visa is likely to be curtailed
  • you will need to apply for a new visa before returning to the UK
  • any time you spend in the UK while your studies are suspended may count towards your visa's time limit for degree-level study

Withdrawing from your studies

If you wish to withdraw from your course:

  • the University is legally obliged to inform UKVI
  • you will need to leave the UK as soon as possible, and within 60 days
  • your visa is likely to be curtailed
  • you must tell the Student Immigration Service the date you plan to leave the UK

Visa curtailment and travel outside of the Common Travel Area

If your Tier 4 visa is curtailed and you leave the Common Travel Area during the remaining time left on your visa, your visa will lapse. This means that if you leave the UK and want to return again, you will need to secure an alternative visa. If you try to re-enter using your Tier 4 visa, you will be refused entry.

When to request an authorised absence

You must request a period of ‘authorised absence’ if you are studying on campus but need to be absent for 14 days or longer. You do not need to do this if your absence is for less than 14 days, such as if you are ill.

Your request will be authorised at the discretion of your department, based on your ability to:

  • submit assessments
  • sit examinations
  • progress normally on your course

Fees are not refunded for periods of authorised absence.

Undergraduate students

You will not normally be permitted an authorised absence during designated teaching and examination weeks.

During vacation weeks you do not need to be on campus and do not need to request an authorised absence.

Postgraduate taught students

You will not normally be permitted to take authorised absence during designated teaching and examination weeks, unless your teaching and assessment pattern of the programme permits this.

During the summer vacation you are expected to study for your dissertation, so if you plan to complete it away from the University you must request an authorised absence.

Doctoral students

You are expected to study throughout the year, including breaks between semesters and summer vacation, and must request an authorised absence when requesting a vacation.

To do this you must request an authorised absence under the 'vacation' category in SAMIS. lf you have submitted your thesis, are awaiting your viva and would like to request a vacation, use the 'post submission' category.

You must request a period of authorised absence if you plan to complete fieldwork away from the University. This is to ensure the University holds an up-to-date record of where you are.

Maximum period of absence

The maximum continuous period of absence that can be granted without suspending your studies is 60 days (with the exception of doctoral fieldwork, or, exceptionally, when awaiting a viva voce examination after thesis submission, which can be more than 60 days).

If you are unable to return to your studies by the expected date, you should make a request to extend your absence, as long as this doesn’t exceed 60 days.

Request an authorised absence

You can request an authorised absence by logging into SAMIS.

Consequences for poor attendance

You will be contacted by your department if your attendance 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. 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 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.