Student engagement panels

If you are an international student studying at the University of Leicester on a Student Route visa sponsored by the University you must abide by the policy on engagement for international sponsored students. If your engagement with your programme of study is not satisfactory you may be referred to an engagement panel. The panel may decide that you should be withdrawn from studies for non-engagement, in which case the University will withdraw visa sponsorship and will report you to the Home Office who will cancel your visa.

Sponsored international students will be referred to a panel if:

  • You have not engaged with your studies by attending on-campus teaching events or accessed any online materials.
  • You have not submitted assignments or attended examinations.
  • Your overall level or pattern of engagement is causing concern that your academic and/or compliance requirements are not being met.

You'll be advised by email that your case has been referred to an engagement panel. You'll then be given the opportunity to submit your reasons for non-engagement (with supporting evidence), by completing a non-engagement evidence form (Word doc, 32.6KB). You must complete this within 5 working days. You will also be asked to explain why you've been unable respond to previous emails and other communications from your school.

The Advice Service in the Students' Union can help you complete the form and work through the process with you.

Only evidence written in English will be considered. It is a student’s responsibility to obtain and submit a verified translation, if the original evidence is in another language  - this must still adhere to the 5 working day deadline mentioned above.

A lost or faulty student ID card will not be accepted as evidence for non-attendance at campus-based events. You are advised to let the Tutor know you are in attendance if you are unable to check in using your ID card. You can visit the Information Hub at the Library to get a new card.

The engagement panel will be chaired by a Senior Tutor or a member of academic staff nominated by the Head of School and will comprise of academic and professional services staff who have experience, knowledge and expertise in reviewing non-engagement cases.

Engagement panels will meet and consider all evidence relating to your case, which may include:

  • Your engagement record for the academic year to date.
  • Details of all contact made with you in relation to your engagement with your course, any advice given and outcomes.
  • Your module marks for your current programme of study (your course) to date.
  • The dates of submission of coursework and/or exam sittings, where marking is still in progress.
  • Evidence from personal tutors, the Student Support Services and/or the Student Immigration Advice and Compliance team where this available and appropriate to obtain.
  • Any evidence provided by you - if you do not submit evidence your case will be considered on the basis of all other information and evidence available to the panel at the time of its meeting.

Engagement panel outcomes

One of these outcomes will be reached.

Allow studying to continue

The panel will only reach this outcome if there is evidence to support a reasonable expectation that you will meet the engagement requirements going forward. Your school will follow up with signposting to appropriate support and guidance where required.

Permanently withdraw from studies

If you have not met the engagement requirements which are a condition of your visa, the panel is likely to reach this outcome. If you are withdrawn from studies the University will withdraw visa sponsorship and will report you to the Home Office who will cancel your visa. In cases where enough credits have been accrued for an award, your marks profile should be presented to the next Board of Examiners so the award can be made.

Suspend studies for remainder of academic year, returning to the same programme of study (course)

The panel will only reach this outcome in exceptional circumstances and only with the approval of the Student Immigration Advice and Compliance team. Arrangements will be made to return to the same programme of study at the appropriate point in the next academic year. Depending on the length of suspension, the University is likely to have to withdraw visa sponsorship and report you to the Home Office who will cancel your current visa.

Appealing panel decisions

You may only appeal against an engagement panel decision if:

  • There are (or were) circumstances significantly affecting your ability to engage with your programme of study, where you have evidence of this (and this evidence was not known to the engagement panel at the time they made their decision) and it was not reasonably practical for you to have made the panel aware beforehand.
  • Or there is evidence of procedural irregularity in the application of the policy on international student engagement.

You must submit an appeal on your own behalf, within 14 calendar days of the notification of permanent withdrawal from your studies.

Appeals will be considered by the Head of Student Registry Services or their nominee.

Notification of the appeal outcome will complete the University's procedures and you will be issued with a Completion of Procedures letter, which will include information about the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education.

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