The changing student experience of tier four compliance
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The changing student experience of Tier Four compliance. An overview of how the University of Edinburgh's approach to Tier Four requirements has been shaped by the student experience from 2009 to the present day.

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The changing student experience of Tier Four compliance

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The changing student experience of Tier Four compliance

An overview of how the University of Edinburgh's approach to Tier Four requirements has been shaped by the student experience from 2009

to the present day


Student Administration are responsible for providing services to all students throughout their time at the University of Edinburgh and for supporting Colleges and Schools and other student services in delivering a high quality student experience.

Student Administration comprises the following departments


The old days . . . .

“A UK

education“


  • ‘Visa letters’ allowed easier entry

  • English language requirements not strict

  • No attendance monitoring duties

  • Numerous visa routes available upon graduation

  • No reporting duties


A change in perception?

Reduction of net migration to the tens of thousands


The Points-Based Immigration System

  • Total overhaul of immigration system

  • Intended to mirror NZ and Australian systems

  • Left responsibility for students entering the UK in hands of ‘sponsors’

  • Introduced ‘sponsorship duties’

  • ‘Best and brightest’


2009 – the beginning . . .

  • Dramatic change in perception of UK HE

  • Statutory requirements – reputation irrelevant

  • No agreement – no international students

  • Concept of ‘monitoring’ – Orwellian?

  • Hostile experience to study in?

  • Staff overloaded with info


What to do?

  • Ever changing guidance

  • No clarification available from UKBA

  • Staff in admissions/student support/exams etc all now expected to be immigration experts

  • Lengthy UKBA timescales (2years?)

  • Ultimately – a struggle


Tier Four compliance at UoE

  • Registration

  • Data collection

  • Attendance monitoring

  • Reporting

  • CAS issuance


Registration


THEN:

  • Documents provided in support of registration as scans or photocopies

  • All printed and data-entered manually

  • Teams handling this task not immigration specialists

  • Scale of task could lead to delays


NOW:

  • Documents provided by upload (laptop/phone)

  • All checked by trained specialists

  • Average 48 hour turnaround in verifying

  • Data available through EUCLID as soon as uploaded


Document collection and maintenance


THEN:

  • All sponsorship info held on database in Student Admin

  • No access for non-Student Admin staff

  • Students had no oversight of data held

  • Hard for schools and colleges to advise students on options


NOW:

  • *18 months development*

  • New ‘Immigration Overview’ allows schools, colleges and support teams access to sponsorship data

  • All sponsorship fields available in BI

  • Students able to view and update passport/visa details and documents through MyEd


Attendance monitoring


THEN:

  • ‘Tier Four Census’ operating outside UoE monitoring approach

  • Staff working in Census unsure of purpose

  • Customer service not a priority

  • Information not available to school and college staff

  • Student resentment


NOW:

  • Staff working in Census fully briefed and able to answer queries

  • Part of main SEAM policy

  • Customer service prioritised

  • Student absences permitted with school authorisation

  • All data available in EUCLID

  • Exam attendance monitoring from Dec 2014

  • Improved compliance at audit


Reporting


THEN:

  • Presumption students knew when reporting would happen

  • Notification of reporting not made to students

  • Staff not aware of circumstances leading to report being made

  • Advisory services not flagged as available

  • No oversight for schools/college/support areas


NOW:

  • Students sent detailed email when report made

  • Reporting information available through EUCLID and BOXI

  • Automatic change of ‘sponsored?’ status of student in EUCLID following report – real-time data

  • IO services flagged to all reported students

  • 2015 - training on reporting


CAS issuance


THEN:

  • No one point of contact

  • Staff specialist in other areas having to keep immigration knowledge current

  • Main student record not always correct at time of issuance

  • Large workload for school and college staff at already busy periods

  • Presented risk in event of audit


NOW:

  • One point of contact for continuing student CAS issuance

  • Webpages dedicated to CAS issuance to be published (EOY)

  • 24 hour turnaround in 90% of cases

  • Student record issues addressed at point of CAS issuance

  • Increased compliance at audit


The future . . .


  • Centralised CAS issuance for new students

  • A ‘living’ sponsorship record available to students through MyEd

  • Automated emails reminding students of their visa and passport expiry dates

  • Training sessions for staff on reporting

  • ‘Terms and conditions’ of sponsorship to prevent confusion regarding Tier Four conditions

  • Passport and visa verification at start of session


Any questions?

Kate Monroe

Operations Manager, Immigration Compliance

Student Administration

[email protected]

Ext: 51 4071


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