International students right to continue studies from overseas, defer or quit because of Coronavirus

International students right to continue studies from overseas, defer or quit because of Coronavirus

This article about international students rights to continue studies from overseas, defer or quit because of Coronavirus was published by the Great British Mag content team on 8 April, 

If you are an international student in the UK and are struggling with your studies due to your university, college or language school having moved your learning online, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this article outlines your rights to continue your studies from overseas, defer or quit your studies.

As a Tier 4 visa holder can I return home to complete my course

The UK Government has announced Tier 4 visa holders can go home and continue their studies online. The Home Office has also announced educational providers or sponsors are not required to report student absence if the student continues to study remotely and complete coursework and tasks set, so you don’t need to worry about losing your Tier 4 visa and your right to return to the UK, to continue your studies, when normal teaching resumes.

Do inform your educational provider that you intend to leave the UK to continue your studies remotely from your home country and follow any instructions they have sent you. If unsure call, email or look on the website to clarify what you need to do before making travel plans.

You should also check what travel restrictions apply to the country you want to travel to, before making any travel plans.

How can I complete my course and sit exams if I leave the UK?

If you decide to return home and complete your studies online speak to your education provider about what provisions they are making to ensure you don’t miss important lectures, seminars and exams.

Currently, there has been no national announcement on whether exams for students at university will be postponed or cancelled and each education provider is making their own plans. However, the National Union of Students have called for universities to postpone or cancel exams because it means international students who have chosen to go home may face having to do their online exams in the middle of the night.

This is still an ongoing issue that has yet to be resolved. Currently, many education providers are choosing to substitute exams for coursework and online assessments. We recommend staying in contact with your university and regularly reading your university emails to keep up to date with the ever-changing climate.

What will happen if I am unable to do the assessments and exams

If you cannot complete your studies, assignments and exams for any reason speak to your lecturers, faculty or student services as soon as possible. They will be able to advise you on what action to take and give you the support you need to continue with your studies.

The Home Office has said that no action will be taken if you are absent from your studies for up to 60 days, due to the current situation.

If you haven’t met the Programme Learning Outcomes across your course, you may be set coursework or short tests appropriate to your course. Many universities and colleges will aim, when appropriate, to set out coursework as a replacement for any remaining exams.

The coursework will be adapted from the exam papers and online tuition and support will be available to help all students during this period.

For students on professional programmes, for example medical, teaching or social work programmes, your faculty will follow advice from your regulatory bodies. Your programme team leaders and support staff will be in regular contact with you about next steps.

Can I defer my course to next year?

Deferring your assessments and exams to a later date maybe possible if you feel you cannot continue with your studies due to stress, illness or lack of resources.

To find out whether you can get an extension on your deadlines speak to your education provider, as they will have their own policies. Be aware that the Home Office has said that no action will be taken if you are absent from your studies for up to 60 days and your Tier 4 visa is secure.

However, if you defer for longer or leave your studies permanently you could lose your Tier 4 sponsorship and you would have to reapply if you wanted to continue with your studies later.

What happens if I fail my course or get a lower grade?

The first thing is to take advantage of all the online support being provided by your education provider and get in touch with your lecturers as soon as possible if you are struggling with any part of your studies. They can  provide you with the extra support that you need to complete your studies successfully.

If you must self-isolate or your circumstances affect your ability to complete assessments to the usual standard, you should contact your academic department as soon as possible. They will help you make the appropriate arrangements such as  getting an extension on your deadlines or making arrangements for you to sit exams at a later date.

If you get a lower grade or fail your course and feel it was because you had to study remotely, you can appeal using your education providers appeal process. Education providers will do everything in their power to make sure you don’t fail your course because of the current unusual circumstances.

Can I get a partial refund because my course is being taught online due to Coronavirus?

Most education providers are offering a partial refund to those international students that continue their studies online. The partial refund will differ from provider to provider, so to find out what refund you can get contact your education provider.

Can I get a partial refund if I choose to leave the UK and not continue with my studies?

Your education provider will encourage you to stay engaged with your studies from your home country. They will do all they can to accommodate your needs from your own country.

If you are leaving student accommodation, you should receive a full refund for the last term and be refunded any over payments.

Every provider will have their own rules on who does and doesn’t receive a refund. If you withdraw from your programme early and do not continue with online learning, your tuition fee costs may be adjusted pro rata based on your last date of attendance. Every university and course will have their own rules on how much you can be refunded.

More useful articles:

What should I do if my student visa has expired but I cannot travel home because of Coronavirus?

Help for international students who have lost their part-time or graduate job due to Coronavirus