CAL Attendance Recording and Reasonable Diligence 2020/2021 - A Guide for Students

This handbook explains how and why the College of Arts and Law records and monitors student attendance and engagement.

Last Updated: 23rd October 2020

While studying at the University of Birmingham students are expected to attend all scheduled teaching sessions whether on campus or online, engage with all compulsory academic content, and to submit all work on time. Student attendance and engagement is monitored to offer students support and to ensure the University provides the best service possible.


We want you to succeed and therefore expect you to engage with all scheduled teaching sessions and to submit all work on time.


Why does the College of Arts and Law review my attendance and engagement?

So that we can offer you enhanced support.

Low attendance or a lack of engagement can sometimes be an indicator that a student may benefit from further support or guidance from either an academic or wellbeing perspective. Similarly, sustained attendance and engagement can lead to higher academic achievement. By recording and monitoring student’s presence and engagement we aim to provide you with suitable support, and help you perform to your highest standard.

So the University can hold students to principles and standards.

The University Regulations and Codes of Practice contain principles and standards designed to control or govern conduct or provide direction at a more detailed level than Ordinances. As such, the University of Birmingham requires that all students attend and engage with their programmes; this is done by attending teaching sessions on campus or online such as seminars and tutorials, engaging with online content, such as Lectures, attending online eWeekly Group Tutorial (eWGT) meetings, and submission of all assessed and unassessed work on time.

It is a legal requirement.

All students are liable for the tuition fee set by the University which is payable in full at registration, unless they have opted to take out a UK government loan or opted to pay via an instalment plan. In order for the Student Loans Company (SLC) to accurately assess a student’s eligibility for fee and maintenance support and for the University to receive correct tuition fee payments our internal attendance monitoring systems must be effective.

The UK Visas and Immigration Office (UKVI) requires that international students who are studying under the student route are monitored for continuous academic engagement as part of their visa conditions.

So the University can offer the best service possible.

By monitoring and recording attendance and engagement the College and the University can continually review the standard of resources and provisions and provide the best possible service to its students.

What is expected of me?

You are strongly advised to read the University’s Code of Practice on Student Attendance and Reasonable Diligence, which is available on the Codes of Practice, Policies and Guidance pages.

All full-time students are required to attend and engage throughout the two semesters which comprise the academic year before completing any remaining coursework or examinations in the summer period. Your contribution to taught sessions is valued and you have a responsibility to members of academic staff and to your fellow students to be diligent in this respect. For detailed information on Student Attendance and Reasonable Diligence, please visit the link above.

Persistent  low attendance, lack of engagement and / or non-submission of coursework, without good reason and after due warning, could result in the School following the reasonable diligence procedure to exclude a student from examinations or require a student to withdraw from the University.

The College of Arts and Law expects all students to attend all scheduled teaching, whether on campus or online, and engage with all compulsory academic content, in addition to submitting all assessed and unassessed work. 

Scheduled teaching sessions include, but are not limited to:

  • Seminars
  • eWeekly Group Tutorials and Personal Academic Tutor Sessions/Supervisions
  • Exams

You are expected to attend the teaching sessions allocated to you on your personalised timetable and all meetings arranged with your Personal Academic Tutor or supervisor.

If you believe your personalised timetable is incomplete or inaccurate, you should contact the Programmes Team so that the omission can be reviewed. We also ask that you make contact with the academic leading the session.

If you are unable to attend a teaching session or engage with your academic learning, you must notify the Student Attendance Team of your absence (for more information, see the section "What do I do if I cannot attend?" below).

How will my attendance be recorded and monitored?

  • Your attendance at eWeekly Group Tutorials will be recorded by your Personal Academic Tutor and your wider engagement will be recorded automatically where possible. For your attendance and engagement to be recorded academically, you must ensure that you are signed in using your university login details.
  • If you do not engage academically for more than 15 days (10 university working days) this will be flagged to the Student Attendance Team, who will review what absence details you have provided to us so as to best inform the best and most appropriate support we can provide to you.

For more information, see the section "What will happen to me if I do not attend?" below.


Your attendance and engagement is reviewed so that we can give you the support you need, provide the best possible service, and help you achieve to your highest standard.


 

A flow diagram explaining the Reasonable Diligence Process. This information is also summarised in the section titled 'What will happen to me if I do not attend?'

A flow diagram explaining the Reasonable Diligence Process.

What do I do if I cannot attend?

Declaration of Absence

If you are unable to attend your scheduled teaching or engage with your academic content for up to 14 days, then you will need to submit a Declaration of Absence using the online form.

To find the online form and guidance on how to fill it in, please view the relevant section of the Submit an Absence page.

Appropriate reasons for declaring an absence are defined according to the University's Codes of Practice (for more information, see the section “Where can I find more information?” below). These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Absence due to poor health
  • Emergency or last-minute medical appointments (where no alternative was available)
  • A family emergency
  • To attend a job interview (where no alternative date was available)
  • Jury service

Once you have submitted a Declaration of Absence it will be processed by the Student Attendance Team, who may then ask Wellbeing to contact you to offer further support. It is your responsibility to inform your tutors of any absences, and it is your responsibility when absent to catch up with any and all work you might miss.

Study Intention

If you will need to study online for 15 days or more then you should submit an updated Study Location Intention Form.

Authorised Absence

If you are an international student studying via the student route  and you have not submitted an updated Study Location Intention Form and are due to be away from campus, you may need to submit an Authorised Absence application, which will then need to be approved by the relevant Authorised Signatory.

Please note that this process can take up ten days.

Additional information can be found on the Authorised Absence section of the Submit an Absence page.

For further information about each of these processes, including the appropriate forms, please visit the Submit an Absence page.

Please be aware that any absence, whether declared or not, will impact on your attendance rate.

We encourage you to discuss your absence with your Personal Academic Tutor, Supervisor or a Wellbeing Officer, particularly if you are likely to have further absences in the future. You can find Wellbeing support and a hub of Wellbeing resources and contacts on the CAL Wellbeing Services Canvas page.

They may be able to work with you to try and resolve these issues or provide you with support in another way. For more information, see the section “Where can I find more information?” below.

What will happen to me if I do not attend?

The College of Arts and Law regularly reviews attendance and engagement to support students. The process is as follows:

  • You will be contacted by a member of the Student Attendance Team to remind you of your responsibilities to attend and engage and advise where you can find support to help you attend and engage via an Engagement Support Advisory email.
  • If you continue to not attend or engage, you will be invited to an online meeting with an opportunity to consider why you have not beenable to attend regularly or engage academically and create a plan of action to help you engage with your programme of study:
    • First and Second Year Undergraduate Students are invited to Making the Most of Your Studies, an online supportive session led by a member of Academic staff, Wellbeing Officers, and representatives from the International Student Team.
      Any students who would rather attend a one-to-one meeting with an Academic staff member will be provided with this opportunity on request.
    • Final year Undergraduate Students and Postgraduate Taught Students will be invited to attend a one-to-one meeting with an Academic staff member.
    • Postgraduate Research Students will be invited to a meeting with the Heads of Postgraduate Research.
  • If you fail to attend the designated meeting without notice, then your case may be escalated through the Reasonable Diligence procedure, which can include any and all of the following:
    • Invitation to a Reasonable Diligence Intervention Meeting
    • Informal Warnings
    • Written Warnings
    • Specific sanctions
    • Referral and escalation through the Code of Practice on Health, Wellbeing, and Fitness to Study
    • Withdrawal from your Programme of Study

At all stages the Academic staff, Wellbeing and Student Attendance Team will endeavour to support you to engage with your programme. It is therefore recommended that you are open and honest with us regarding your engagement as soon as possible so that we can find the most appropriate ways to assist you. You can find contact information for the Wellbeing Team on their Canvas page and the Student Attendance Team on our homepage.

If you miss a number of teaching or supervisory sessions and do not communicate to us the reasons behind your absence, the College will follow the reasonable diligence procedure described in the Code of Practice (for more information, see the section “Where can I find more information?” below). Ultimately, failure to attend without reasonable explanation may result in you being withdrawn from your programme of study.


Ultimately, failure to attend without reasonable explanation can result in you being withdrawn from your studies.


I have a problem, who do I talk to?

If you are experiencing personal difficulties you can speak to your Wellbeing Officer, the Student Attendance Team or Personal Tutor/Supervisor. The University also has a number of support networks and staff who you can talk to:

If you need to submit a Declaration of Absence, please view the relevant section of the Submit an Absence page to find the online form and guidance on how to fill it in.

If you are an international student and you are experiencing a problem with your right to study or work in the UK, including Visa issues, you can contact the International Student Team (IST):

If you have a problem that is not covered by the above, then it is suggested that you speak to your Personal Academic Tutor/Supervisor or Wellbeing Officer.

Where can I find more information?

Please click on any of the links below to find more information.

Colleges

Professional Services