The College of Arts and Law and International Students
The College of Arts and Law (CAL) Student Attendance Team is responsible for evidencing academic engagement for students with a Tier 4 visa.
We are responsible for recording and monitoring attendance at scheduled teaching, evidencing coursework submissions and processing Authorised Absences for International Students.
Introduction to Tier 4
The University of Birmingham has over 10,000 overseas students, the majority of whom are studying here on a Tier 4 visa. In order for an International Student (non-EEA/EU citizens) to study here in the UK they will require an appropriate visa to allow them to enter the UK, reside in the UK, and study here for the duration of their proposed course.
The UK operates a points-based immigration system and the cornerstone to this system is the principle of sponsorship. Tier 4 is one of the 5 points-based immigration routes into the UK. The majority of our students come to the UK on a Tier 4 student visa which allows then to study on a full-time basis here at the University of Birmingham.
This is subject to certain conditions, as well as the University of Birmingham formally sponsoring their studies. For the purposes of Tier 4 this means that the University takes responsibility for their time in the UK as our Tier 4 student.
As part of its sponsorship obligations regular checks are carried out to ensure that the College is meeting its obligations under UK law. The consequences of not meeting these responsibilities could mean the university’s ability to sponsor Tier 4 students is revoked with severe consequences for the university’s finances and reputation.
Our Sponsorship Duties
As a Tier 4 Sponsor we have multiple duties to maintain, these can be divided into two main categories: reporting duties and record keeping duties.
The reporting duties require us to report certain information about Tier 4 students to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) including:
- where a student has had a change in circumstances. These include when they change course, take a leave of absence, withdraw from their studies, or complete their studies early.
- where we believe a Tier 4 student is breaching the conditions of their visa, for example, working over the permitted allowance, or is not a genuine student.
- where a student does not arrive and begin their course as expected.
Collectively as a university, all staff should be aware of and follow policies and procedures agreed by the University and their Colleges. This ensures that the University remains compliant with our duties as a Tier 4 Sponsor at all times.
The record keeping duties require us to keep records of your attendance across a set number of Contact Points throughout the academic year to evidence to the Home Office and UKVI that you are engaging in your studies as per your visa requirements. Forms of evidence of engagement include:
- Attendance at any scheduled teaching session
- Coursework submissions
- Exam attendance
- Dissertation Supervision Meetings