Student Engagement Monitoring

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This document explains what you are required to do during your studies at Aston University to meet the monitoring requirements of your visa.

As a Tier 4 Sponsor (formerly known as a Highly Trusted Sponsor) , Aston University is required to comply with a number of Home Office requirements, one of which is to check that you are actively studying with us. We call it ‘Engagement Monitoring’. The engagement monitoring process at Aston University is quick and easy so that you can focus on your studies and enjoy your time with us.

Page checked and updated 14/04/2015 AJW

What is engagement monitoring?

Engagement is a phrase which means that you are in contact, or interacting, with the University.  This could be something as simple as logging in to MAP, or as important as sitting an exam. We call these ‘engagement activities’.

We will monitor a mixture of engagement activities at the University during term time, and it is our way of making sure you are still in contact with the University, that you are progressing well with your studies and you have all of the support that you need.

When you are on campus, all you need to do is make sure you attend a ‘Face to Face’ activity with a member of staff at Aston University at least once every four weeks. You can choose which sessions you attend and when you attend the. To make this as simple as possible, we have set up a number of different engagement activities for you to choose from. 

How do I register an engagement activity?  

Some of the face to face engagement activities are automatically recorded for you, for example sitting an exam, or in some Schools handing in a piece of coursework, but others will need you to ask a member of staff to register an activity for you. Not all lectures, tests, workshops and tutorial are automatically monitored but you can check on MAP to see which activities have been recorded for you.

It is your responsibility to register a face to face activity, so if you meet with a member of staff at any time during your studies, then you should ask them to register the meeting for you. Simply offer them your student card so that they can check your details, and they will add an activity to your records.

We already keep lots of data electronically, such as when you logged in to MAP, if you swiped in to the Library or a Laboratory etc. so we can check that you are also engaging with your studies in other ways.  Do not worry - this is not sensitive or personal information; it is simply an electronic “tick” to say you have done something. 

When is Term Time 2014/5?

The term dates for this academic year are shown below.

Undergraduates – All Schools

Engagement Period 1 – 22nd September 2014 to 20th December 2014

Engagement Period 2 – 12th January 2015 to 28th March 2015

Engagement Period 3 – 20th  April 2015 to 15th  June 2015

Postgraduate Taught Programmes - LHS, LSS and EAS

Engagement Period 1 – 22nd September 2014 to 20th December 2014

Engagement Period 2 - 12th January 2015 to 28th March 2015

Engagement Period 3 - 20th April 2015 to 30th September 2015


Postgraduate Taught Programmes - ABS

Engagement Period 1 – 22nd September 2014 to 13th December 2014

Engagement Period 2 - 12th January 2015 to 20th March 2015

Engagement Period 3 - 20th April 2015 to 30th September 2015


Postgraduate Research All Schools

Engagement Period – 22nd  September 2014 to 30th September 2015

 Postgraduate Taught students – please note that your third engagement period runs all the way until the 30 th September, even though the taught part of your studies may have completed. You are still required to be studying full time writing up your dissertation. You cannot work full time during this period as you are still classed as being in term time. 

Student Engagement Monitoring Scheme 1 (On Campus)

You are required to be on campus during all the engagement periods relevant to your course. Details of you specific engagement periods can be found in the section called ‘What is Term Time?’.

When you are on campus you can choose from the following face to face engagement activities.

School Based

Support Based


Hand in coursework

Appointment with an Adviser in the Hub

Work as a campus guide

Sit an exam

Appointment with a Careers Adviser

Volunteering with the Peer Mentoring Scheme

Meet with a personal tutor or course director

Work Placement briefing session


Attend a monitored compulsory School meeting

Visa scanning session in the Hub


Attend a monitored class test

Speak with a member of the Hub reception


Attend a monitored lecture/workshop/tutorial/practical

Meet with School support staff member


Meet with research supervisor

Speak with a member of Credit Control



Attend a Library workshop



If you have not been able to attend a School based face to face engagement activity in the four week period, you must make a special effort to see someone in your School Support office or go to the Hub to speak with a member of staff on the Hub reception. 

Student Engagement Monitoring Scheme 2 (Off Campus)

To switch to the Off Campus Monitoring scheme, you must have applied for and have been granted permission to be temporarily located away from the campus which you must organise with your School office. This could be because you are:

·         On placement,

·         Writing up a dissertation from another location

·         Completing research activities

·         Attending a conference

Once your permission for the temporary absence has been approved by the School and recorded in the University Student Records System, the Student Engagement Monitoring Scheme 1 will stop, and Scheme 2 will take over.

Scheme 2 uses a similar monitoring system to the scheme 1, but you are not required to meet with a member of staff in person. You must maintain regular remote engagement activities to allow you to keep in contact with the University and your studies whilst you are away from campus. You will be informed by your School what you are required to do when your absence permission has been granted. 

What happens if I do not log an Engagement Activity?

If you are going to be absent during term time, you must first apply for and be granted permission from your School. They will create an ‘Authorised Absence’ record for you, and you will not be required to register any engagement activities during your absence.

If you do not meet these requirements, you will be classed as a “Student of Concern” and given a “Level of Concern” numbered 1 to 5.

We will send you an email to remind you that you need to register a face to face activity if there is nothing on your record in a 2 week period.  

Level 1 - If you do not attend a face to face session in any four week period, then we will contact you by email to remind you that you must register a face to face activity, and will give you a deadline to do this.

Level 2 - If you do not register a face to face session as requested, you will be asked by email to attend a specific face to face session, at a certain date, time and place.

Level 3 – If you do not attend the specified session, you will be contacted by telephone and email and asked to meet with the Visa Compliance Coordinator. If you do not answer the telephone, or respond to the email you will also be sent a letter to your UK address.

Level 4 – If you do not respond, your case will be referred to the Visa Compliance Manager, who will contact your School to confirm that you have not been engaging with your studies.

Level 5 – If you have not responded to any of the previous contact attempts, and there is no evidence that you have been engaging with your studies at all then you will be invited to a final meeting with the Visa Compliance Manager who will explain the consequences of reporting you to the Home Office for non-engagement. Your School will be advised to withdraw you from the programme and you will be reported to the Home Office within 48 hours. You will have to leave the UK.

If you have any questions then please contact the Visa Compliance Team by email at engagement@aston.ac.uk

The Rules – A summary:

You must attend a ‘Face to Face’ session at least once every four weeks.

It is your responsibility to check you engagement activities on MAP.

It is your responsibility to ask a member of staff to register an engagement activity for you during a meeting.

If you miss a session then you will be reminded and, depending on the level of concern, you may be asked to attend a specific face to face session to discuss your circumstances. If you fail to respond to our reminders then we are required to report this to the Home Office. The Home Office may cut short your study visa and you will need to leave the UK.

If you require a temporary absence from the University, for example you are going on placement, or you are writing up your dissertation from another location, then you must first get permission from your School. Once your temporary absence has been agreed, then you will move on to a different Student Engagement Monitoring Scheme.  You will be given details of this scheme when you discuss your absence requirements with your school.

If you need to be absent for any other reasons, and during this time you will not be able to engage with your studies, for example, you are unwell or you need to leave the UK for a family emergency, then you must speak to a member of Support Staff in your School, or contact an International Student Adviser in the Hub and they will advise you of your options. 

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