Academic engagement, attendance and progression

As a Student Sponsor, we are required to monitor the attendance, engagement and progress on their course for all our sponsored students and report those who do not attend or engage as required. If your attendance and engagement fall below expected levels or you are absent without permission for a period of time, this will be investigated by the International Services team. If your attendance, engagement or progress is unsatisfactory this is likely to impact on the University’s ability to continue to sponsor your Student immigration permission and may also prevent us from sponsoring you to apply for permission to stay in the UK in future.

If you are struggling with any aspect of your studies, the University offers a wide range of help and support to you - please see our Health, Safety and Wellbeing pages for more information.

For the academic year 2021/22, sponsored students' engagement will be monitored differently depending on whether they are:

  • studying remotely via distance learning, as allowed by the Home Office concession (currently allowed until 30 June 2022
  • studying inside the UK via blended learning

Studying remotely

Current Home Office concessions enable students who have a CAS or student immigration permission to start or continue their course remotely from overseas and retain their student sponsorship, provided that they are inside the UK by the Home Office deadline, currently 30 June 2022. Please be aware that your department may set an earlier deadline, in which case you must be in the UK studying by then.

If you cannot travel to the UK to begin your study in-person you must complete the Remote Study Request form. If your School or Department give you permission to study remotely you will be able to do all your study online until you are able to travel.

We are required to monitor academic engagement for students studying remotely via expected online contact points such as:

  • Moodle Course
  • Moodle Mobile
  • FASER Upload
  • Library Loans
  • Listen Again
  • PC Lab Logins
  • Zoom logins

You must attend your online events, if you do not engage with your course for 30 days or more, we must take action and may have to withdraw our immigration sponsorship.

Studying inside the UK

Once you are in the UK, the Home Office concessions enable you to study via blended learning, a mix of in person and online study, until the 30 June 2022. The Home Office have set a minimum requirement for attendance in person (face to face) during term time for taught students.

Studying remotely from inside the UK after 27 September 2021 is not allowed, therefore, any request to do so would be turned down by the International Services team.

You are required to attend all timetabled face-to-face teaching events and engage with all aspects of your course, including online learning, as listed above. If you attend fewer than two in-person events in any four-week period, we are required to report this to the Home Office and withdraw our immigration sponsorship.

If you are required to self-isolate during your course because of COVID-19 you will need to request authorised absence from face to face teaching, this will mean we do not have to consider this period as time that you are expected to have face to face engagement by the Home Office. You will still be able to study online if you are well enough and can use listen again, Moodle etc.

Authorised absence

If you are unable to study, for instance because you are unwell, you should request authorised absence from your department or supervisor for PhD students. Please be aware that you can only usually have authorised absence of up to two weeks and may have to intermit from your course if you are absent for longer. Regular absences will be investigated by the International Services team.

Taught undergraduate and Masters students

As stated above, if you are studying in the UK, you are expected to attend all in person and online lectures, classes and seminars as well as all other scheduled events or meetings. Don’t forget to swipe in using your card on the Count-Me-In electronic readers. If you are going to be absent or are ill, you must seek authorisation for this by completing the notified absence from teaching form found in your myEssex current student portal.

We recommend you read the University’s detailed information about attendance, using your card and reporting an absence.

Postgraduate taught students - dissertation period

Postgraduate taught students should note that although the taught element of your course may have finished, you are still studying full-time until your CAS end date. If you are studying in the UK, you are required to attend regular in person meetings with your supervisor. If you have approval to study remotely overseas, you are required to attend regular meetings via Zoom or Skype.

You are able to request, via your dissertation supervisor and department, a period of “study away” for some of the period following the completion of your taught classes and exams. You will be limited to 6 weeks as a maximum at any one time.

If you would like to complete your dissertation outside the UK and submit this remotely as a distance learner, you are required to seek authorisation from your dissertation supervisor and department.

If you choose to complete your studies from your home country, we are required to notify the Home Office and withdraw our immigration sponsorship. The Home Office will curtail (cut short) you Student immigration permission, usually within 60 days of the date we make our report, and you should receive notification of the amended expiry date from the Home Office by letter or email. You must ensure you leave the UK by the date your permission will expire and should not attempt to use your Student immigration permission to re-enter the UK as it will no longer be valid.

Postgraduate research (PhD) students

As a Postgraduate research (PhD) student, please note that the Principal regulations (.pdf) for research degrees state that you are considered to be working on your PhD for 36 hours per week averaged across the year.

The University’s taught terms/vacations do not apply to PhD students. You are required to attend at least one in-person contact point with your supervisor at least once a month, if you are studying in the UK. If you have approval to study remotely overseas up until 30 June 2022 where in-person contact is not possible, for instance during an agreed period of study away, this can be substituted for Zoom or Skype contact. You should contact your allocated supervisor about any period of absence in the first instance.

If you are a postgraduate research student who is currently studying in the UK and you wish to undertake a period of research away from the University for data collection purposes, for longer than six weeks, you should apply for approval for this using the ‘Research Away Request’ form which is available via the Student Request Portal. If you have any queries or concerns about remote study or research away for PGR students, please contact the Postgraduate Research Education Team.