A message to all our international students: learning and teaching on campus in Semester 2.

We hope your studies are going well and you are enjoying being a University of Birmingham student. Many of you have been able to study on campus in Birmingham and are benefitting from learning in-person alongside peers, and engaging with the wider campus experience. We also recognise the difficulties that some other students faced in travelling to the UK for Semester One, and wanted to write to you about what to do if you are still experiencing these difficulties.

We believe that teaching and learning in person is essential for all students on our programmes. When choosing to study with the University of Birmingham, you are choosing an on-campus experience at a global top 100 university, as well as the opportunity to study and live in the UK. In this way, students will receive the full benefits of being at the University of Birmingham, learning in-person alongside peers and as part of our community, and engaging with the wider campus experience.

For all of these reasons, and for all students, we are confirming our expectation that you should be available to start your semester two studies in Birmingham by no later than 31 January 2022.

We understand that many of you will have concerns about travel and we will be supporting your arrival and welcome in many of the same ways that we have done for the thousands of international students who have already arrived here and to other UK universities. You will be able to access:  

  • Visa and Immigration advice from our International Students Team.
  • Self-isolation support.
  • Accommodation assistance.
  • Welcome activities and events from the University as part of our UoBe Festival Week.
  • Free Covid-19 vaccination via the UK National Health Service (if not already fully vaccinated).   

More details about each of these will be available soon.

Key Dates:

  • UoBe Festival Week - including a special ‘Semester 2 Welcome!’ Begins on Monday 24 January 2022.
  • Semester 2 teaching begins on Monday 31 January 2022 – all students are expected to have arrived before this date to engage with scheduled teaching and learning activity.   

Planning for travel and study has changed over the last two years owing to the global coronavirus pandemic. We continue to be very careful on campus to provide a safe environment for teaching and learning and we have seen good evidence of the success of these measures in the very low number of Covid-19 cases reported on our campus. All international students are entitled to a free Covid-19 vaccination, via the UK National Health Service (NHS) after arrival into the UK, if not already fully vaccinated.

Applying to continue to study online in Semester 2:

If you are unable to arrive in the UK for January 2022 owing to exceptional reasons, then we will consider an application to continue to study online for the remainder of Semester 2 (including the period of assessment and examinations).

This option is not available to all students on all courses: some courses require in-person attendance to meet essential learning objectives; to acquire practical skills or professional accreditation requirements; or for assessment and examinations.

If your course cannot support continued online study, then you should already be aware that you must be in attendance for the start of Semester 2 teaching.

To apply for continued online study for the remainder of Semester 2 you must complete our online form available here by no later than Tuesday 30 November 2021.

You will be required to confirm one of two accepted exceptional reasons:

• International travel restrictions that prevent you from travelling to or studying from the UK.

• A health or medical condition that prevents you from travel to or studying from the UK. (You may be asked to provide further evidence of this.)

In any other circumstances all students have the option to apply for a Leave of Absence.

If you are not already here in the UK, then we are looking forward to seeing you in Birmingham in January 2022.

Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice Chancellor (International)  


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