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6. Placement Learning, Intercalated Years, Study Abroad and Incoming Exchange Students

Where students are studying elsewhere (including work placements, intercalated years and study abroad), the University still has a responsibility to monitor their progress, to identify where students may need additional support, or where they are failing to follow their course with due diligence. Where the student is a Tier 4 visa holder, the requirement to monitor attendance continually during periods of work or study placements is a legal one and failure to evidence monitoring arrangements could have serious implications for the University’s Tier 4 licence. As with students studying at Warwick, where Tier 4 students are on study abroad or work placements, 11 monitoring points for full-time undergraduate students should be recorded. This is not necessary for non-Tier 4 students but arrangements should still enable departments to monitor engagement and progress. The arrangements for monitoring are inevitably diverse, to take account of the wide range of contexts involved and the template monitoring scheme at Appendix A does not therefore include placement years. However monitoring schemes for outgoing and incoming exchange students and students on work placements should be included in the main monitoring scheme for the departments’ courses.

The arrangements for monitoring attendance and engagement on placements, study abroad and so on should be agreed between the department and placement provider, overseas university in advance, at the beginning of the academic year, and the number of monitoring points must be the same number as identified in section 4. In some cases reporting by exception may be adequate, for example where a student is undertaking an intercalated year in industry or business and is expected to attend daily, as if an employee. However this is only appropriate where the department has documentary evidence to confirm that the placement provider has robust systems in place to identify non-attendance without permission or explanation and the department can be reassured that it will report non-attendance to the University immediately.

Many industrial and study placements are assessed, and the formal submission of assessed work can be used as a monitoring point, where this is submitted during the year in question. Students could also be requested to submit attendance reports to their departments on a regular basis, as is the case for Tier 4 students on exchange programmes (see below).

Discussions between a student and his/her personal tutor/supervisor/placement co-ordinator might also be used as monitoring points. Such discussions might be face-to-face, by phone or email, and can in any case serve a useful pastoral function. Records should be kept of this type of contact. Departments may wish to offer students a structured series of such contacts in addition to any ad hoc contact; the University’s Minimum Requirements for Personal Tutors specifies the frequency of meetings required with students and the need for a record to be kept of discussions.

Some departments require or encourage students on placements to keep regular diaries/learning logs, sometimes signed off by a local supervisor. This practice, which is likely to help the student benefit from the placement by facilitating reflection, could serve as a monitoring point.

Where a student is overseas under a formal exchange agreement, their ERASMUS Learning Contract or other similar agreement may provide for monitoring of engagement and progress. The International Office will monitor attendance of those students holding Tier 4 visas to study in the UK when they are on overseas exchange programmes overseen by the Office. This consists of attendance reports returned to the Office three times per term and the Office will notify departments of any missed points.

Where students are on incoming exchange or visiting placements, it is still the University’s responsibility to have oversight of their attendance and engagement in study during their stay at Warwick. The ‘”home” department is responsible for setting out the monitoring points for students in advance of their period of study commencing, noting that the number of monitoring points that might apply to these students will vary depending on the length of their visit.

These provisions do not apply to students who have opted to take a voluntary year out. Students who have taken such a year out are expected to take responsibility for monitoring their own progress and achievements and should be encouraged to seek advice from the Centre for Student Careers and Skills and the main point of contact in their department with responsibility for overseeing their academic progress, before leaving the University for their Voluntary Year Out. It is not possible for the University to continue to sponsor an international student under Tier 4 to undertake a voluntary year out and international students considering this option should discuss it with the International Office first.