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Attendance and Engagement Policy for Home Students

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The purpose of the policy is to support and monitor the attendance and engagement of all students studying at Staffordshire University. The University recognises that to be successful with their academic studies students need to fully engage with the teaching and learning offered as part of their chosen award/programme. Attendance therefore at all formal teaching activity is expected.

The University recognises that successful completion of an award will not just be by attendance but also via engagement. The University will therefore monitor engagement with a student’s programme of study using the Beacon App, Blackboard, Microsoft teams, submission of work etc.

Where students do not attend and engage this can mean they are not able to satisfactorily progress with their award and therefore the University will seek to take appropriate interventions to establish their re-engagement with the programme.

Attendance monitoring for international students who are sponsored by the University on a Student Visa, is also required to ensure visa compliance. Students sponsored on a Student Visa will therefore be subject to additional monitoring due to the requirements stipulated by the UKVI.

The policy seeks to support the improvement of the overall student experience by identifying where students may be experiencing difficulties and ensures timely intervention and appropriate support is made available to re-engage students.

Scope

This policy applies to students studying at Staffordshire University at all levels: Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught and Postgraduate Research. Some programmes may have specific attendance requirements because of Professional, Statutory, and regulatory Bodies and/or other statutory or contractual requirements. In addition, as part of the University’s UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) sponsorship responsibilities, the University is required to follow UKVI guidance and policy for students sponsored on a Student Visa.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to attend every element of their programme of study. This is defined as (but not limited to):

  • Attending required lectures, seminars, tutorials
  • Undertaking required laboratory work
  • Undertaking research or fieldwork
  • Submitting essays, assignments and attending examinations
  • Placements
  • Practical sessions
  • Scheduled self-led practical sessions

There may other additional sessions that course teams may arrange to further enhance students’ studies and experience on their course. Whilst these may be optional, we strongly recommend that students engage with them whenever possible so that they benefit from the extra learning being provided.

Students undertaking a period of their course as part of an approved work placement are expected to attend the placement in accordance with the placement agreement. Regular checks with the employer will take place to ensure attendance.

Recording attendance

Students will be responsible for their participation in their learning experience by engaging and fully attending all elements of their programme/course. It is anticipated that by students engaging in their programme in this way they will have a better opportunity to successfully progress with their studies.

To enable the University to identify where students may not successfully progress due to poor attendance and engagement with their course, the student’s attendance and engagement will be monitored for the full duration of their period of their study at the University.

The university will monitor attendance as follows:

  • University Beacon App which will enable students to sign in at the start of a scheduled timetabled activity. This will be via the issuing a code by the lecturer/tutor to the students to log against the active session. The code is unique to that session and will be pre-generated randomly at the start of each session.
  • e:Vision for students on Postgraduate Research awards and Postgraduate Taught students who are at the Dissertation/project stage of their award. This recording will be undertaken by the student’s supervisor at the supervisory meeting.

This data will be collated and assessed to help identify students at risk of not completing their studies and appropriate interventions will be identified.

Students will be able to view their attendance record in the timetable tile on the dashboard within the Beacon app.

If it is identified that a student has signed into a class but was not in attendance, their record will be amended, and the absence recorded. When a student is found to have repeatedly signed in but not attended class, disciplinary action may be taken against the student.

Monitoring

The University will monitor attendance and engagement regularly. If the University has concerns about a student’s attendance and engagement with their course or their attendance falls below our threshold, the School will undertake appropriate interventions by working with the student’s academic mentor to gain agreement over re-engagement and provide further assistance as appropriate to support the student.

For Students on a Student Visa please refer to the UKVI attendance and engagement policy which outlines the intervention process in place to ensure compliance with UK Visa and Immigration requirements.

Absence

On some occasions, for instance illness, your absence may be unavoidable. All absences must be notified to the relevant Tutor immediately. Please refer to your Course Handbook for contact details.

In the case of absence due to illness for a period of up to and including five working days, full-time students must complete a Self-Certification Form (PDF, 6.65KB) and submit it to their academic mentor. Longer periods of absence due to illness must be covered by a sick note from a GP. In this case student’s might need to claim exceptional circumstances in relation to their learning and assessment.

Students are permitted to apply for a break in studies from their programme of study for personal or medical reasons. Guidance and advice on this process can be sought from their academic mentor or the Student Support & Experience team.

For students on a Student Visa, the University is required to maintain attendance records for all students they sponsor and to report absence in accordance with our sponsor duties to the UKVI. Students on a Student visa may request a short period of authorised absence. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Students wishing to discuss this should speak to the Student Support & Experience team.

Where a continued absence from the course is reported, appropriate intervention methods will be triggered to ensure appropriate support if required is put in place and the student is able to resume their studies. 

In accordance with the University regulations, students who are identified as no longer in attendance will be presumed withdrawn from their studies and the University will take appropriate action to update student records appropriately and appropriate regulatory bodies where appropriate and necessary. 

Further guidance for students in relation to the workings of this policy can be found in our frequently asked questions.