Important information for international students

We know that for so many of our international students, this academic year has been uniquely challenging and different. While many of you are here with us studying in Birmingham, others of you decided to begin or continue your studies from your home countries.

Of course, this is not a normal academic year, and we are acutely aware that the ongoing global pandemic is impacting on countries, families and individuals all around the world. We are a global community and so that impact extends to us all.

In this first semester we have made arrangements to provide a bimodal approach to teaching and learning – so that you can continue to progress your studies wherever you are. As we approach the winter months in the UK, we understand that you will be thinking about your plans for the new year and the second semester.

The UK Government has stated consistently that universities are a priority sector and that campuses should remain open in order to offer a blend of on-campus and on-line education. The University of Birmingham has developed an effective bimodal model of teaching and we will continue to provide bimodal teaching in Semester Two. We recognise, however, that some of you are studying wholly online in Semester One because you have been unable to join us in the UK, and you may now be wondering what happens if you can’t get to us in Semester Two. We can confirm that you will be able to continue to study in exactly the same way as you are now doing, including online from anywhere in the world, although please note the exceptions below.

For those students who are here in Birmingham, we can confirm that you will have sessions scheduled both on campus and online. As is the case in this Semester, there will also be online sessions available for all taught sessions to ensure we can meet the needs of students who are self-isolating or are unable to join us for specific periods of time.

It is important to note, however, that we must continue to follow the rules set by the UK Government, and these are subject to change, so we will keep everything under constant review and we will communicate with you immediately if there are changes that would affect your studies.

There are some exceptions:

  • Please note that for some accredited programmes, there may be a requirement to complete some specific on-campus sessions in order to qualify for accreditation. In these cases, your academic School will be working to ensure these sessions can be scheduled. If you are not sure if this affects you then please contact your School
  • For any international student in their final year of study. If you will be graduating in summer 2021 please note that the Graduate Route (post study) visa can only be applied for in the UK by current students (holding a current, valid Student Visa, or previous T4 visa) who have entered the UK before 06 April 2021, completed the final semester of their course in the UK and meet all other requirements for this visa. If you have questions please contact the International Student Team


How to let us know your plans

Throughout this year so far you have been able to let us know if your plans change using our intended study location form. You should continue to use this as the best way to let us know about your plans and any change to your study location.

The form can be used to let us know if you are continuing to study online, or if you are planning to travel to the UK, or if your plans change at any time.

Complete the intended study location form.

Please do contact the International Student Team for any visa related advice or your School for any questions about your course.

Can we also remind you that having registered for your course you will have received a fee invoice which showed the due date for payment. These due dates will now have passed for most students; if you have not already paid or arranged instalments please do so on the paying tuition fees webpage.  

Professor Kathy Armour
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education

2 November 2020


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