Attendance and Engagement

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At a postgraduate level, University teaching can be less ‘hands on’ than students may be used to from their previous studies. A key standard of university‐level education is student independence and initiative: we expect our graduates to possess the skills and confidence they need to find things out for themselves, rather than requiring large amounts of direction.

 

In the early stages of your programme we seek to accustom you to becoming proactive in directing your own learning, especially in seminars and tutorial sessions. You will then be increasingly challenged to make practical use of the independence, confidence and initiative you have developed. It is through participation in discussion and occasionally making formal presentations in tutorials, crits and tutorial‐like seminars, that your progress as an independent learner is demonstrated (and evaluated).

 

Participation in these small class teaching events (and studios) is therefore central to achieving the intended learning outcomes of our courses.

 

Where We Monitor Your Attendance And Engagement:

 

Attendance monitoring varies across programmes and between undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. ECA, like other areas in the University, will take attendance/engagement registers at a range of events which may include:

 

  • Small-group sessions such as tutorials, seminars, studios and crits;
  • Submission of work;
  • Attending a meeting with Personal Tutor, Supervisor etc.
  • Attendance at Welcome Week induction events.

 

We monitor your engagement with your studies across a range of events and across the duration of your studies. If you fail to attend or engage with your studies and start to miss these contact points, we will follow this up with you. Using these contact points assists ECA in identifying where you may be experiencing difficulties and ensures that timely and appropriate intervention can be made to prevent non-attendance becoming a serious matter.

 

Avoid Problems – Keep In Contact With Us:

 

If you know you are going to miss a seminar/tutorial/studio then you must let us know (see below). You should outline the reason for not attending. If you have a valid reason for not attending, i.e. something out of your control such as illness, emergency care for a dependant etc., then we will mark you as exempt from attending. Please contact us in advance – if this is not possible then contact us within 5 working days of the event. It is important to note that poor time-management is not a valid reason so the following would not be accepted as valid reasons for being absent: you slept in; you had commitments to other work/paid employment.

 

Whilst we do not expect every student to have a 100% attendance record, we do expect you to engage with your studies. As outlined below, we will contact you if your attendance is lower than expected/required for the programme.

 

Who to Contact About Not Attending:

 

  • For teaching events and assessment – email the Course Organiser/tutor and Course Secretary to let them know
  • If you are going to miss a number of classes or other programme level events e.g. induction or miss a number of classes e.g. you will be unwell for more than a couple of days – then please email your Personal Tutor with a copy of your email to the ECA Student Support Office.
  • If you need to apply for an interruption to your studies (away for 2 weeks or more) then contact your Personal Tutor with a copy of your email to the ECA Student Support Office.

 

If you have contacted someone about not attending, teaching staff will mark you off as EXEMPT in class or for another engagement event. If you are identified as having a number of consistent exemptions, you will receive an email from the Student Support Office outlining the availability of support, and inviting you to discuss your absences/circumstances further with your Personal Tutor.

 

What Happens If You Don’t Engage With Your Studies?

 

ECA will monitor your attendance and engagement at certain Contact Points throughout the year. Ultimately missing these can lead to exclusion for non-attendance – and for Tier 4 sponsored students, exclusion immediately leads to losing sponsorship by the University.

 

If we notice a pattern of non-engagement with your studies then the first response is normally pastoral. i.e. to make sure things are OK. If your engagement overall continues to remain poor then we will escalate as outlined below:

 

STAGE 1          Informal email. We let you know that your engagement with your studies is below what is expected. This is normally attending less than 50% of all teaching activities where attendance is monitored, failing to attend a meeting with your Personal Tutor at the beginning of semester, and/or non-submission of coursework.

 

STAGE 2          Formal email. We will invite you to meet with a relevant member of staff (PT, Programme or PG Director to discuss any issues affecting attendance/engagement).

 

STAGE 3          At this point we deem your attendance/engagement to be inconsistent and of serious concern. You will receive a formal warning and, if appropriate, we will ask to attend a mandatory meeting with the School (ECA).

 

FINAL STAGE  If you have consistently missed engagement points (meeting your Personal Tutor/supervisor, tutorials, seminars, studio registers, submitting assessments, etc.) or your academic progress more widely is at a level deemed unacceptable, then ECA will consider your status using the ‘Procedure for Withdrawal and Exclusion from Studies’ policy and the taught assessment regulations. If you do reach this final stage it is very likely you will be excluded from the University unless there is significant new evidence to support re-engagement with your studies. If you are a Tier 4 student the University will report to the UK Home Office that we have withdrawn your sponsorship. This is done within 10 working days of the date of decision to exclude.

 

At each stage you are given 7 calendar days to provide a satisfactory reason for your non-engagement.

 

If you have been escalated at STAGE 1 and you provide sufficient evidence for your lack of attendance etc., you are deemed to have ‘engaged’ with the escalation process. If you require escalation again at the next contact point, you will still be considered at STAGE 1. If  you have been considered at STAGE 1 for two consecutive contact points, and require escalation for the third consecutive time, this will be considered at STAGE 2, even if you have sufficiently ‘engaged’ with both STAGE 1 escalations.

 

Likewise, if you have been escalated to STAGE 2 you provide sufficient evidence for your lack of attendance etc., you are deemed to have ‘engaged’ with the escalation process. If you require escalation again at the next contact point, you will still be considered at STAGE 2. If you have been considered at STAGE 2 for two consecutive contact points, and require escalation for the third consecutive time, this will be considered at STAGE 3, even if you have sufficiently ‘engaged’ with both STAGE 2 escalations.

 

If you have been considered at STAGE 3 and require escalation at the next consecutive contact point, you will be escalated directly to STAGE 4, even if you have sufficiently ‘engaged’ with your STAGE 3 escalation.

 

Examples of a satisfactory reason for lack of attendance or engagement can include:

 

  • Short-term physical illness or injury;
  • Short-term mental ill-health;
  • A long-term or chronic physical or mental health condition, which has recently worsened temporarily or permanently;
  • A long-term or chronic mental health condition, which has recently worsened temporarily or permanently;
  • Bereavement or serious illness of a person with whom the student has a close relationship;
  • Fieldwork in an area with poor reception/internet connection;
  • A relationship breakdown;
  • Financial issues;
  • Failure, loss or theft of data, a computer or other equipment;
  • Visa issues e.g. stolen biometric card, extension issues;
  • Crime or police incidents.

 

Reasons that would not be considered satisfactory for lack of attendance or engagement can include:

 

  • Holidays;
  • Poor time-management;
  • Lack of awareness of dates or times of assessment submission;
  • Commitments to paid or voluntary employment;
  • A long-term or chronic health condition (including mental ill-health) which has not worsened recently or for which the University has already made a reasonable adjustment.

 

Note: The University is required to put in place reasonable adjustments to support the education of students with long-term or chronic health conditions, mental health conditions, or other disabilities. These can include adjustments to learning and teaching activities, and assessments. If the University has provided a student with an appropriate Schedule of Adjustment and they continue to engage below the level required, these student will be escalated accordingly, and Personal Tutors/Programme Directors will be encouraged to explore alternative options e.g. an interruption of studies.

 

What Happens If You Don’t Attend Any Classes At All?

 

If you are recorded as having 0% attendance in your teaching activities, and you have no contact with anyone at the University, you will be at risk of expulsion after 60 days. Your situation will be considered under an accelerated escalation process, and will progress immediately to the next stage if no response has been received after 7 days, and no other contact has been made with the University.

 

How Do We Get In Touch With You?

 

As a student of ECA, you are expected to read and respond to all formal communications. The primary way we will communicate with you is via your student email account, which you are required to access on a regular basis.

If you are not engaging with your studies and have been escalated to STAGE 3, you will also be contacted via your personal email accounts. Where necessary, the School will follow-up on formal communications/warnings via phone. Any student who is at risk of expulsion will be notified via email and hardcopy letter.

 

Monitored Contact Points for 2018/19

 

Contact Point Description Date of check Escalation*
1 Attendance at an induction event or meeting with PT 24 Sept 2018 No attendance during Welcome Week events and no engagement with PT
2 Attendance across Week 1 & Week 2 1 Oct 2018 Attendance at 50% or less of nominated teaching activities
3 Attendance across Week 3, 4 & 5 22 Oct 2018 Attendance at 50% or less of nominated teaching activities
4 Attendance across Week 6, 7 & 8 12 Nov 2018 Attendance at 50% or less of nominated teaching activities
5 Attendance across Week 9, 10 & 11 3 Dec 2018 Attendance at 50% or less of nominated teaching activities
6 Sem 1 summative assessment Dec/Jan Non-submission of coursework
7 Attendance check in Week 1 21 Jan 2019 Attendance at 50% or less of nominated teaching activities
8 Attendance across Week 2, 3 & 4 11 Feb 2019 Attendance at 50% or less of nominated teaching activities
9 Attendance across Week 5, 6 & 7 11 Mar 2019 Attendance at 50% or less of nominated teaching activities
10 Attendance across Week 8, 9, 10 & 11 8 Apr 2019 Attendance at 50% or less of nominated teaching activities
11 Sem 2 summative assessment Apr/May Non-submission of coursework
12 Block 5 dissertation meeting 15 Jul 2019 No engagement with dissertation supervisor

*Note that if your most recent contact is more than 3 weeks previous to the date on which the below check is undertaken, this will also be grounds for escalation in accordance with the stages noted above.