All student email, Wednesday 12 August 2020

Important information for international students

A flexible arrival

Around the world, it is becoming apparent that the Covid-19 situation is both fluid and dynamic. At this moment in time, the UK Government has confirmed that it expects all educational settings - schools, colleges and universities – to open safely in September. We are working tirelessly at UoB to ensure that campus is as Covid-safe as possible, and we are planning to make as much of the campus experience available to students as it is safe to do from the start of the new academic year.  

At the same time, we understand that some students will have concerns about traveling to the UK or returning to campus for the start of the new academic year, whether that is due to travel restrictions, health reasons or self-isolation. Given the fluidity of the Covid-situation nationally and internationally, it is therefore possible that some students may not be able to join us on campus for the beginning of the academic year.

We want to minimise the worry around where you will be at the start of the semester so we are making sure that we are as flexible as possible. You can choose when you arrive on campus, or study the whole of the first semester online. All of our core content will be offered online and all lecture material and your weekly tutorial group meetings will be online. In addition, all staff will be offering seminars both on campus and online, and we will do everything possible to offer suitable online alternatives for labs and practicals, until everyone can join us on campus.

We very much hope the situation allows as many of you as possible to join us on campus so that you can access as many aspects of the wider student experience as possible. However, we are also extending our welcome period for new students so that whenever you are able to get to us, you can be sure of a warm Birmingham welcome.

So, for new and returning, UK and international students, the options you have for the first semester are:

  •  arrive at the start of term as originally planned, or
  •  start online and arrive on campus at any time during the first semester, when you can or
  • study semester 1 wholly online


Whatever you choose you can be reassured that we are planning to support you to begin or continue with your studies wherever you are, whenever you can get to us, and whatever happens with the pandemic.

Booking your flight

We’re delighted to have teamed up with our travel partner, Key Travel, who will be operating an online booking portal especially for Birmingham students to help you arrange your flights. This dedicated service can be used to book your flights from anywhere in the world, and means we can align our free airport collection service (see below) from London Heathrow and Birmingham to ensure your smooth transition to our campus. The Key Travel team have 24/7 traveller support services and they are working with global airlines to offer you promotional packages including additional luggage allowance and access to special academic fares.

To access this service you will need to register your details so we can set up your account with Key Travel. It will take approximately one working day to set-up your account and, once this is complete, Key Travel will email you with your log-in and access details.

Register your details here

Airport collections

The University will be providing a free airport collection service for students from Birmingham Airport (BHX) and London Heathrow (LHR). You will be met at the airport by our friendly Meet And Greet team, and will be brought to the University campus by coach.

The airport collection service is free-of-charge for students but you will need to book your collection in advance. We recommend that you book as early as possible to guarantee your seat, as places are limited.

Book here

As we have outlined in previous newsletters we are working hard to make our campus as safe as possible for your arrival, whenever that suits you. Hopefully the travel information will also support you in that process - we can’t wait to welcome you back to UoB!

A summary of all this information can also be found on the Welcome Back to UoB area of the intranet.     

Online Right To Study (RTS)

We have recently made some changes to how international students complete their Right to Study (RTS) check. If you are a continuing student with no changes to your visa since your original RTS check, you do not need to do anything. If you are a continuing student and have received a new visa since your original RTS check, please visit the ‘My Right To Study’ webpage, where you will find all the information needed to upload your documents and complete your RTS check online. We recommend that you start the process of uploading these documents as soon as you receive your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).


If you have any questions whilst completing the RTS check, please refer to the relevant online guide at ‘My Right To Study’ or contact us via Student Help.

Need visa advice?

Our International Student Team provide support and advice current International students at UoB. Their expertise covers immigration, visas and how to adapt to life at the University.

If you have specific visa enquiries and need to contact the International Student Team you can log an enquiry by completing the online form


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