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The UK is continuously becoming more popular for international students. Figures from the UK Government show that for the year ending March 2022, 466,611 Sponsored Study Visas were granted. This marks the largest number of study visas granted to international students on record.

For students, sponsored study in the UK means an opportunity to study at some of the best ranked universities in the world. For institutions, Tier 4 Student Sponsorship means more than £10 billion additional income in tuition fees alone. But Tier 4 Visa Sponsorship comes with certain conditions attached for both students and universities.

Some universities such as London School of Economics and University College London now boast student populations of which more than 50% are international.

UKVI Responsibilities

To study in the UK, all international students need a sponsored study visa. Students in the UK on this kind of visa are required to attend all classes, meetings and tutorials for their course of study. For students who are failing to meet these conditions, universities are required to inform UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and the student may lose their visa.

For universities, this means they have a responsibility to accurately monitor international student’s engagement levels with their course. This is necessary to ensure their compliance with the conditions of their Tier 4 Sponsorship License. Universities have to be able to produce reports on all students attending their institution with a sponsored visa and may be subject to audits of their UKVI compliance.

Best Practice for Visa Compliance

To protect the Tier 4 Visa Sponsorship interests of both universities and students, institutions should have comprehensive UKVI Compliance procedures in place. The best UKVI Compliance management systems should include:

  • Student Attendance Capture technology to track student engagement in-person, online or off-campus.
  • Automatic Alerts to staff when students are falling below their visa requirements.
  • Custom Workflows to automate communications to students who are in breach of their visa.
  • Real-Time Reports that can be generated daily, weekly or monthly on each student.

Tier 4 Visa Compliance doesn’t have to be complicated or create hours of additional administrative burden. It simply requires an efficient UKVI Management system. These are specifically designed to make academic compliance easier for both the university and the student.

For more on UKVI Compliance Management, see our solutions page.

International students requiring student visa compliance holding their country flags