Update for international postgraduate students: attendance obligations for the remainder of the academic year 2022/23

This message does not apply to students studying Pre-sessional English at the Birmingham International Academy.

This is an important reminder for our postgraduate-taught international students.

As International students, studying in the UK on a student visa, you will be aware of your requirements under the terms of your student visa which are set by the UK Government.  The University, as your “sponsor” also has a number of requirements placed upon it - and together, the student and the University, we must follow these requirements so that you can continue to study in the UK.

One of these requirements is that international students must be on campus throughout the published semester dates this includes Assessment Support Weeks and Assessment Weeks.  During each of these weeks, the University ensures international students are given at least two opportunities to register their attendance on campus for academic or academic-related activities.  We use a variety of methods to register engagement and attendance – including the My Attendance App on your phone.  This helps both you and the University to meet the visa requirements.

Semester 2 ends on Friday 23 June 2023 – and in each week until Friday 23 June we will continue to support your visa requirements by asking you to register your attendance every week.  This includes the “assessment / examination weeks” and that is regardless of whether some or all of those examinations are taking place in person, or not.

After the assessment period (Saturday 13 May – 10 June) there are a further two weeks of the semester during which you are still expected to be on campus - and during which you will need to continue to register your attendance.  In this two-week period your Schools and Colleges will be organising a range of academic-related activities to support your ongoing learning and develop your academic skills. These are important activities and sessions to help you make the most of your time in Birmingham and you should attend these.  

For postgraduate taught students the academic year completes on Friday 22 September 2023. (Dates and deadlines may vary for some programmes so please check with your School).

The Academic Calendar 2022/23 is published here:  Key dates for students (birmingham.ac.uk)

During the summer months you are expected to study for your dissertation, including regular meetings with your academic supervisor.  In addition, your School / College will provide academic-related activities, appropriate to your level of study, to support the successful completion of your dissertation and conclusion of your studies.  These are important activities which you should attend if you are remaining in the UK and where you can continue to register your attendance on campus. 

However, if you intend to complete and write-up your dissertation from your home country then you must complete a request for an authorised absence.  An authorised absence can only be issued for a maximum period of 8 weeks so you will need to consider your dates carefully.  Any online meetings with your dissertation supervisor will be recorded as evidence of your continuing engagement.

If you are intending to complete your dissertation from your home country and not return to the UK then you can request an authorised absence with the condition that you will not be returning to the UK.  In these circumstances the University will withdraw its sponsorship of your visa.

Further information about requesting an authorised absence is available here:  Authorised absence for international students (birmingham.ac.uk)

It is important that you consider your options carefully, remembering that if you remain in the UK then you must continue your studies and complete your dissertation in Birmingham where we will monitor your engagement in-person.  If you are leaving the UK then you must let us know by way of an authorised absence request.

If you need any further information, advice or support then you can always contact your College on one of the email addresses below or see the International Students Team webpages here: International Student Team (birmingham.ac.uk)


College of Arts and Law

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

College of Medical and Dental Sciences

College of Life and Environmental Sciences

College of Social Sciences

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences

Birmingham International Academy


With all of our very best wishes – we hope that you have a good remainder of this academic year.


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