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International travel for staff and students on University business

Guidance for staff and students seeking authorisation for international travel on University business.


  1. All staff and students travelling on University business (for example to a placement or field trip abroad) are expected to keep their department fully informed of any international trips that they are planning to make and to take all reasonable steps to research the risk associated with their planned activities. In particular, they are required to keep abreast of any changes in the risk classification on their destination by checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). A formal risk assessment must be conducted and recorded whenever travel is proposed to a country warned against on the Foreign Office website, and is either required or good practice in other instances (for example, students on work placements). Advice on risk assessments for travel and working overseas is provided in the Working away from University premises policy.

  2. Heads of Departments (or individuals as otherwise determined by the Head of Department) have authority to approve international travel, except where the FCDO website warns against travel (either 'all travel' or 'all but essential travel'). In such circumstances the decision shall be taken by the Chief Compliance Officer, in consultation with the Vice-President (Enterprise), taking account of the recommendation of the Head of Department. The traveller will be required to provide a copy of the relevant risk assessment covering both their travel and subsistence arrangements and the activities they will be carrying out. They will also be required to provide details of any emergency arrangements that they will have in place, including arrangements for maintaining contact with the department whilst they are away. Where it is deemed that there is significant risk of harm to the member of staff or student, the University reserves the right to refuse authorisation for certain international trips on University Business to be undertaken or to cut short a trip that has already begun. All members of staff should be aware of the dangers of travelling against the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

  3. In the case of international travel where the FCDO warns against travel, the University will require confirmation from the member of staff or student that will be travelling that they will take responsibility for monitoring the FCDO website up to the day of departure to check for any change in the risk classification on their destination.

  4. All members of staff and students travelling on University business will be responsible for ensuring they have obtained travel insurance. Staff and postgraduates are able to arrange insurance through the University's travel insurance.

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