Student Progress

Attendance Engagement

Attendance Engagement

Attendance Engagement is a central University process undertaken to provide confirmation that you are engaging with your studies. This process also allows the University to meet its obligation to the Home Office to ensure students who hold Tier 4 visas are complying with the terms of their visa.

The University reviews the attendance of all Postgraduate Research Students (PGR) to ensure they are engaging with their studies on an ongoing basis.  This is particularly important for international students who hold Tier 4 visas as the University must be able to confirm to the Home Office that these students are attending regularly and engaging with their studies.  Since PGR students do not have lectures or tutorials, the supervisory meeting records held in NU Reflect system provides the sole means of confirming a student’s continued attendance and it is therefore important that students and their supervisor(s) keep these up to date. 

Who is reviewed?

The meeting records of all PGR students are reviewed up to the point of submission.  Students who hold a Student visa must continue to meet with their supervisor(s) and record their meetings up to the point of completion which includes the examination period.

How is attendance reviewed?

The attendance engagement process is undertaken by your Graduate School.  Reports are run on meeting records held in NU Reflect system on a 3 weekly basis which are reviewed to identify students for whom no confirmed meetings have been recorded during the previous eight weeks.  Notification emails are then sent to these students requesting that they take action to ensure they meet the attendance engagement requirements. 

There are three different emails that can be sent, depending on the student’s meeting records and whether or not they have received and responded to previous notifications

  • Level 1 – An informal automated reminder sent through NU Reflect system to a student if there has been no recorded and confirmed meetings within 6 weeks. This email informs students about the relevant process, points them in the direction of help and to asks them to contact the relevant Graduate School if they are encountering any difficulties.
  • Level 2 – A fortnightly report is generated to identify any students who do not have a recorded and confirmed meeting within an 8 week period, or who are not meeting the required number of expected interactions at a given time of year.  A Level 2 email is then sent to these students to remind them of the attendance engagement requirements and to point them in the direction of help, if they are encountering difficulties.
  • Level 3 – If no meetings have been recorded by the time the next fortnightly report is run, a Level 3 email may be sent to the student. This email is sent on behalf of the Dean of Postgraduate Studies and advises the student that, if they hold a Student Visa, they may be reported to the Student Data Team, which may result in a report of the student’s non-engagement to the Home Office.  The ultimate sanction could be curtailment of the student’s visa.  Students are asked to make contact their Graduate School within 7 days so that their situation can be discussed.

Supervisor Responsibilities

Supervisors are copied into Level 2 and Level 3 emails.  Where a student has entered a meeting within the monitored period but it has not yet been confirmed by the supervisor, the Level 2 or 3 email is amended to highlight that it is the supervisor rather than the student who needs to confirm the meeting.  Meetings that have not been confirmed by the supervisor are shown as ‘No – Status not recorded’ in the ‘Confirmed’ column in the Meetings tab.  Students should contact their supervisor to request that they confirm the meeting as soon as possible.

Arrangements during holiday leave

PGR students are entitled to a maximum of seven weeks (35 working days) holiday leave (including all times when the University is officially closed e.g. Christmas and bank holidays). Students must complete a Student Notice of Absence form in advance of any leave of a week or more following agreement with their supervisor and send it to the designated email address for the School, copying in their supervisor.  Supervisory meetings should be resumed and recorded as soon as the student returns from leave.

Arrangements when working off Campus

If you are intending to work off campus for a period of 4 weeks or more, you should arrange to maintain contact with your supervisor, most commonly via Zoom or Teams, and update NU Reflect accordingly.  PGR students intending to conduct work off campus must complete an ‘Outside Study Form’ which must be approved by their supervisor in advance and submitted to the relevant Graduate School. This applies to any period of time of a month or more working off campus.

Pending Submission/ Extended Submission/ Under Examination Students

PGR Occasional students who hold Student visas must meet the attendance engagement requirements. 

PGR students who are holders of a Student visa who are either pending submission, extended submission or under examination and residing within the UK must continue to record regular meetings with their supervisor.

Occasional Students

Every month Student visa holders are required to report to thier Graduate School and bring thier smartcard along to this meeting. The Graduate School will contact the student with a date and time on which to report. If for any reason a student is unable to attend one of these census dates they must inform thier Graduate School prior to the meeting so another date can be arranged.

Sources of Further information

Further information about attendance engagement requirements can be found from the following sources: