Section 1: Purpose and contents of the page
This page has been created to give guidance for Engagement Monitoring
Please ensure you have carefully read the guidance provided for your situation BEFORE you contact Student Immigration.
Warwick currently sponsors over 9000 students with a Student Visa. The UKVI require institutions to have robust engagement monitoring processes in place. Failure to meet these requirements and keep accurate records of engagement presents a significant risk to the University. Failure to engage as expected also poses a risk to the student and may result in their sponsorship being withdrawn, which would lead to their withdrawal from the University.
Staff with key roles in engagement monitoring include:
- Academic staff (module tutors, personal tutors, supervisors, Directors of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Studies)
- Departmental administrative staff responsible for collating records of engagement and reporting to Student Records
- Staff in the Student Mobility Team who are responsible for conducting the engagement monitoring for students on study abroad placements placed through their team
- Student Administrative Services staff including Education Policy and Quality (EPQ) and Student Records
- Immigration and Compliance Team in Student Experience
All students at Warwick have their engagement monitored, regardless of their nationality. The Good Practice Guide on Monitoring Student Engagement and Progression provides information for what are the recommended numbers and types of monitoring points for different levels of students. Should the Home Office conduct an audit they would expect us to show details of the engagement/non-engagement of the Student Visa holders we are sponsoring. The Home Office are looking to see evidence that the student is engaging academically with the course for which they hold Student Visa sponsorship, and that our engagement monitoring process is being followed.
Each academic department is required to prepare a monitoring plan before the start of each academic year. There is a requirement to submit this to the EPQ team if the proposed plan deviates from the templates within the Good Practice Guide for approval.
The Covid-19 concession which permitted remote study has now ended, therefore students are expected to be in the UK and engaging face-to-face with their studies.
From 5 October 2021, departments will be copied into emails sent to students when they have become fully enrolled (have entered the UK and passed all immigration checks) to help departments plan their engagement monitoring.
Departments can also self-serve and obtain information confirming which Student Visa Students have entered the UK by running an eVision report. The report will show all international students with their latest enrolment status.
- Enrolment status 'F' denotes that a student is fully enrolled, as they have met all visa requirements AND have activated their visa by entering the UK.
- Enrolment status 'FV' (Provisionally enrolled; subject to Visa Clearance) denotes a student who is enrolled online but subject to meeting all visa requirements and has not yet passed Right to Study check.
To run this report showing international students who are fully or provisionally enrolled and in the UK:
- Go to www.warwick.ac.uk/evision
- Click ‘Reports’ at the top
- Under ‘Student’ select ‘Student Lookup’
- Click ‘Enrolment Search (SCE)’ – you don’t need to complete anything under ‘All Year’
- Select from the drop down menu:
- Current Year
- Student Status: Select the one of interest. You can only select one at a time.
- If you want to find the number of international students who are fully enrolled, select ‘Fully enrolled for this session’.
- If you want to find out the number of international students who are enrolled but not passed 'Right to study' check, you would select status 'Provisionally enrolled; subject to Visa Clearance'.
- Click ‘Find Student’
If you are interested in more than one enrolment status, you will need to run the report multiple times, for each of the student status you’re interested in as they bring back different students.
Tabula has now been updated to pull in and display students’ enrolment status (under 'Profile' section) to assist departments with planning the correct type of engagement monitoring points.
- All reporting and monthly monitoring are undertaken by WBS for their undergraduate students.
All other departments:
- Study abroad placements: Reporting of change of study location (outgoing and returning) and monthly monitoring for Student Visa holders will be undertaken by Student Mobility team (departments can remain in touch with student visa holders but there is no need to record that as formal monitoring point). This includes part year study abroad placements.
- Work placements (in the UK and abroad): Reporting of change of study location (outgoing and returning) and monthly monitoring for Student Visa holders will be undertaken by academic departments. This includes part year work placements.
The UKVI Sponsor Licence Compliance Group requires departments to keep records of engagement electronically. Tabula and MyWBS are examples of this. This enables automatic messages to go out to students in real time, should they have an unauthorised absence and it enables the Compliance Team to make regular checks of records and flag any problems quickly. The use of Tabula and MyWBS ensures consistency across the University.
In October 2021, Tabula was updated to enable staff to specify the type of attendance that is required to fulfil the monitoring point.
Records of engagement or non-engagement must be made within 5 working days of the expected monitoring point occurring, as per the guidelines in the Good Practice Guide. This timeframe is given due to the one week notice period we may receive in advance of a Home Office audit. It is also important that records are made promptly so any issues of non-engagement may be followed up quickly by the department.
In addition, automated email messages are sent to students who are recorded as having an unauthorised absence for a monitoring point and so it is important their record is accurate so as not to send unnecessary messages and cause unnecessary concern.
Failing to update attendance records will also mean that a student might not receive the automated reminder for missing one or more monitoring points. This could mean that the 'missing student guidance' is not adhered to, and students are at risk of withdrawal without being given the chance to re-engage at an earlier time.
Where a student fails to engage with their course, it is important that prompt follow up is conducted to resolve any problems as quickly as possible.
The Good Practice Guide contains information about what departments need to do when a student misses a certain number of monitoring points.
Also linked to non-engagement is the missing student guidance published by Wellbeing Support Services. This requires staff in academic department to promptly follow up any instances on non-engagement.
Good to know:
Examples of email templates departments and students will receive due to missed monitoring points.
It is vital that accurate records of engagement are kept for all students. As stated above, engagement records should be recorded within 5 working days of the expected monitoring point occurring. If an electronic method for recording engagement is being used and is recorded within this timeframe (e.g. Tabula) then there is no requirement to provide the paper register in addition to the electronic record.
All records must be kept for the following periods unless otherwise stated:
1. If the student is sponsored for less than one year:
- The duration that the student is sponsored; or
- Until a Compliance Officer has examined and approved them*
Whichever is the shorter period.
There is a formal requirement for the University to retain evidence of engagement monitoring. All documents must be kept for the following periods unless otherwise stated:
2. If the student is sponsored for one year or more:
- One year; or
- Until a Compliance Officer has examined and approved them*
Whichever is the shorter period.
*Please Note: We have been advised that records should not be destroyed immediately after a compliance visit in case they are required for any further investigation. For this reason records should be retained until we receive confirmation from the Home Office that the records are no longer required or in the absence of such feedback for a period of a minimum of 6 months.
Q1: I am the Supervisor of a PGR student. Why are some monitoring points in person, given the university allows staff to work in a hybrid working environment?
A: Full time PhD courses are residential courses. One of the UKVI requirements for sponsoring their visa is that the study location is in the UK on campus (with permitted change of study location provision). Hybrid working does not equal remote working and therefore, having a face to face meeting once a month during term 1 and term 2 demonstrates that we are taking steps to ensure students remain campus based.
Q2: Why is face-to-face required in Terms 1 and 2 but not Term 3? In addition, some of the skills training are online, so is it counterproductive to insist it being face-to-face?
A: We would encourage Supervisors to continue monthly meeting face to face throughout the year, however, we also recognise that teaching has largely ended in Term 3 and Supervisors might be naturally away more during Term 3 and summer periods and won't necessarily all be physically on campus. Therefore, we are being less prescriptive for Term 3 and Summer Term, with the expectation that face-to-face meetings are expected to continue at regular intervals. For PGR students, monitoring points are usually monthly supervisory meeting and so online skills training may not be suitable monitoring points.
Q3: I am a Supervisor of a PGR student and I am also carer of a vulnerable relative and therefore working remotely. What is the impact of that to attendance monitoring?
A: If the supervisor has a flexible working request approved by H.R. to work entirely remotely then an administrative check-in point could be added to meet the face to face meeting requirements. An example of an administrative check-in point could be meeting a member of staff in a University building or the attendance of any face-to-face event at the University which can be documented and reflected on Tabula.
Q4: Both Supervisors are based overseas for a period of 3-4 months, which covers the entire duration of Term 1. How could the face-to-face requirement be satisfied for the PGR student?
A: In such a case where due to Academic Supervisor’s availability, only a remote meeting is possible as a monitoring point – administrative check-in points need to be added once a month in accordance with the Good Practice Guide. An example of an administrative check-in point could be meeting a member of staff in a University building or the attendance of any face-to-face event at the University which can be documented and reflected on Tabula.
Q5: UG students start their study/work placements at various times between July – October. This also then means they finish at various times. Do I need to monitor their attendance outside of university term time?
A: According to the Good Practice guide, formal monthly monitoring points only need to be set during university term time for UG students.
However, where their placement periods fall outside of the standard term dates (which can happen) and there are no formal monitoring points required during these periods, you will still have a pastoral responsibility for these students. Therefore, you can setup additional monitoring points on a voluntary basis.
Q6: A student enrolled late and have therefore missed some monitoring points. They have submitted an absence form with evidence that they were permitted to enrol late. Given that we have 5 working days from the session to record the monitoring point, what is the time limit to edit monitoring points if we have any or could we edit and make changes if we receive official evidence?
A: If a student has not arrived in the UK but are within the permitted period of delay (this means it is within their 'latest start date'), the scheduled monitoring point missed should be marked as 'missed (authorised')'.
Q7: What do I do when student attendance monitoring points fall during industrial action?
A: Students’ attendance records should not be negatively impacted where there is industrial action by staff in their Academic Department. Missed monitoring points due to industrial action will be discounted from the total number of missed expected monitoring points. If a lecture, tutorial or other planned contact point with a student is cancelled due to industrial action, any missed contact points caused by the industrial action of lecturers should be noted and treated as 'Missed (authorised)' arising from industrial action. 'Authorised' missed monitoring points will not trigger a warning email to the student, nor will it have any impact on students’ visas.
Q8: Are we required to monitor PGR students after they have submitted their thesis?
There is no need to create artificial monitoring points after submission of the thesis until their next natural engagement point which is the viva. It would be acceptable to have the submission of the thesis as a monitoring point and for the next one to be the viva. If a PGR student is required to extend their registration or undertake correction/resubmission, monthly monitoring should resume from the date of viva.
Q9: A PGR student is pregnant and will soon be giving birth. How do we mark her attendance?
if a PGR student visa holder is pregnant, they are advised to first consider how long they wish to take their maternity leave and whether they wish to remain in the UK during maternity leave.
If they wish to take a whole year (which is the norm in the UK), they will usually have to take temporary withdrawal and are expected to return to their home country.
However, if they wish to take a shorter maternity leave (up to 120 days) and are able to resume their research straight after (including a period of agreed phased resumption), they can request a period of extended 'authorised absence' (up to 120 days in any anniversary year). This requires exceptional approval if department supports this approach - you can make a request via Student Records e-vision workflow as usual outlining reasons for support and Student Records Research Coordinator will forward the request to Student Immigration. Once you receive confirmation of approval, the monitoring points during the 'authorised absence' should be marked as 'Missed (authorised)'.
Q10: what are the common issues with the Monitoring Plans:
A: There are usually these issues with monitoring plan:
- Missing face-to-face monitoring points;
- Occasionally, there gap between points is too spread out – they need to be evenly spread at two-week intervals.
- Any monitoring point which is set to be in person but was instead held remotely with the Academic Department’s approval – needs to be reflected on Tabula and an administrative check-in point need to be added once a month in accordance with the good Practice Guide. An example of an administrative check-in point could be meeting a member of staff in a University building or the attendance of any face-to-face event at the University which can be documented and reflected on Tabula.
Q11: Do sponsored PGR students who are in their writing-up period need to have an official monitoring scheme on Tabula and monitoring points recorded through monthly meetings with their Supervisor?
A: Yes, they do, because following submission they will either pass with minor correction (3 months), major correction (6 months) or resubmission (12 months), or resubmission for lower award (uncertain timescale), in which case monthly monitoring points need to be setup until they submit final submission (after correction) (the end point of the above provision).
If, after reading the guidance above, and you are still unsure of what you should do next, please contact Student Immigration to discuss your situation via the following methods:
Please click on the following links for more information
University of Warwick:
- Warwick | Student Records | Missed Monitoring Point - Discussion Form (if successfully re-engaged)
- Warwick | Student Immigration | Immigration Responsibilities (this is where students are told of our expectation of engagement)
- Warwick | Regulation 36 - Student Registration, Attendance and Progress (basis to withdraw based on poor attendance)
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