UCL statement on Tier 4 visa monitoring
12 July 2018
In response to an incorrect and unauthorised email that was sent to some staff in one department regarding UCL's policy on monitoring of Tier 4 students, a UCL spokesperson said: "Fines for non-compliance with Tier 4 monitoring is not UCL policy.
"UCL hugely values our international students and staff for the essential contribution they make to our university life. As part of our responsibility to international students, we are required by the Home Office to comply with Tier 4 visa immigration rules.
"One of these is that we effectively monitor the engagement of those full-time overseas students who are sponsored on a Tier 4 visa. We try, where possible, to minimise the burden of such requirements, both for students and staff.
"Maintaining effective engagement monitoring is essential to ensuring that UCL students attend their programme and progress satisfactorily and do not have their visas revoked. Effective engagement monitoring is an important early warning sign for welfare and wellbeing concerns. We take this and our compliance with our duties very seriously.
"We understand and share concerns that current Government policies risk leading to perceptions that the UK is seen as a less than welcoming place for international students.
"But to meet our Tier 4 Visa Monitoring requirements, we are required by UKVI to have engagement monitoring systems and processes which facilitate attendance at timetabled teaching events to be evidenced and non-attendance to be followed up and acted on in a timely manner.
"This includes evidence of both weekly engagement for those students undertaking undergraduate study or the taught elements of a postgraduate programme and monthly engagement for other students engaged in non-timetabled studies.
"This has become the norm in the sector against which we will now be judged by UKVI. We believe that these engagement monitoring requirements are aligned with those of other Russell Group Universities.
"UCL is currently doing the minimum necessary to meet our UKVI compliance requirements for Tier 4 monitoring in order to maintain our licence. We have no desire to exceed this."