Engagement and Attendance Policy

The University of East London has an Engagement and Attendance Policy for all students on taught programmes. The aim of the policy is to try to ensure you get the most out of your experience at UEL.

The University monitors your attendance in classes with a swipe card system. You will need to swipe your student ID, which means you will need to have your student ID on you at all times.

The University has statutory obligations to UK Visas and Immigration to ensure all enrolled international (Tier 4) students are fully attending. Lack of attendance may have a serious impact on your visa.  

Tier 4 students who do not comply with the Engagement and Attendance Policy risk being withdrawn from their programme. The University will then report to UKVI as this is in line with the University’s compliance responsibilities as a Tier 4 sponsor. Reporting a withdrawal to UKVI will normally result in curtailment of visa for Tier 4 students.

We are currently not able to offer advice on Immigration but please contact the International Compliance Team (points.based.system@uel.ac.uk) or International Student Advice (internationaladvice@uel.ac.uk) for more information.  

If you think your attendance has been incorrectly recorded, you should visit the Hub (either in person or via 020 8223 4444) to try and resolve this.

If your overall attendance drops due to repeated absences this will raise a cause for concern and, in some cases, you will be withdrawn from your module or course.

If this happens you should seek further advice from us. You can book an appointment or receive email advice. Our appointments may be limited and in that case it is best to seek email advice.

This page also provides general advice on challenging attendance withdrawal. Before continuing you should make sure you read the FAQ on this page (login required).

Warnings about your attendance
What should I do if I need to miss one or more of my classes?
How does my engagement affect my student loan funding?
I'm worried about what will happen to my student finances if I am withdrawn
How does this policy apply to part-time and distance learning students?
I have been withdrawn. What can I do?
What should I do if I want to leave the university?
Further information

Warnings about your attendance

You may receive warnings that your attendance is low. These would normally be to your student email address, which you should check regularly.

You should comply with instructions in these warnings. You may be asked to meet with your Academic Adviser and come up with a plan to improve your attendance.

If you think your attendance has been incorrectly recorded you should visit the Hub (either in person or via 020 8223 4444) to try and resolve this.

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What should I do if I need to miss one or more of my classes?  

If you experience difficulties with attending taught sessions, turning up on time, staying to the end of classes or engaging with any other aspect of your studies, please raise this straight away with your Academic Adviser, Module or Programme Leader.  

If you require an extended period of absence from your studies, or for any reasons you feel unable to continue with your existing timetable, please speak to your Academic Adviser, Programme Leader, or contact the Student Hub, where they will direct you to the right advice and support.  

We may talk to you about the possibility of taking a break from your studies, so that you are able to return to the University when you are in a better position to engage with your programme. 


How does my engagement affect my student loan funding?  

If you are in receipt of tuition fee loans and/or maintenance loans via the Student Loans Company (SLC), the University has an obligation to report your attendance during the academic year and to notify the SLC of any changes in your enrolment status.  

Maintenance loan funding is provided to support students with the costs of studying fulltime. If you cease to engage full-time with your programme, including consistent engagement with scheduled classes, then you will lose your entitlement to this funding.  

If you are suspended or withdrawn from your programme at UEL, the University will notify the SLC and will provide your last date of attendance. You may be required to immediately pay back any money received from the SLC after this date. Please consult the UEL Fees Policy for further information on your liability to pay tuition fees if you suspend or withdraw from your programme.  

The UEL Student Money, Advice and Rights Team (SMART) can provide information, advice and guidance on student funding and finance.


I’m worried about what will happen to my student finances if I am withdrawn

We strongly advise that if you are to be withdrawn from either your programme or specific modules you may want to access the Student Money, Advice and Rights Team (SMART) via the Hub (020 8223 4444) at your campus as any withdrawal will have tuition fee/Student Finance implications.


How does this policy apply to part-time and distance learning students?

This policy applies to part-time and/or distance learning students as well as full-time students.  

As a part-time and/or distance learning student, you are expected to be committed to your studies and to demonstrate this through your general level of engagement.  

You are expected to engage in all activities that are scheduled as necessary to achieve the learning outcomes of your programme, as outlined in programme and module handbooks. This includes completing and submitting all coursework on time and taking all exams set for your programme of study.  

For distance-learning students, engagement will be assessed through the recording of your log-in activity. You should inform your School, as outlined in the programme and module handbooks, if you cannot fully participate with your studies, set activities or assessments. This helps them to help you.

I have been withdrawn what can I do?

If in the event you are withdrawn for lack of attendance you should get in touch with us by filling out the contact form or book in an appointment with us by calling 020 8223 7025.

There is currently no formal appeal procedure, but we will be able to discuss with you reasons for your low attendance record and liaise with Student Retention on your behalf.

Once you have been withdrawn, the decision to be reinstated lies with your programme leader.

The Student Retention team will liaise with your programme leader to discuss this further.

What should I do if I want to leave the university?

UELSU welcomes being notified of any difficulties you are facing at the earliest opportunity in order to support you in the best way that we can. For more information on other university support please contact the Students' Union.

Further information

You can also see a list of common frequently asked questions here (login required).

You can read the full Engagement & Attendance Policy here.