Attendance monitoring for international non-EU students with a Tier 4 visa

Important notice: You will not be required to scan over the Christmas vacation period (from 16th December 2017 until 7th January 2018), unless you are a Research student, in which case you are expected to scan until 22nd December 2017 and resume scanning on 2nd January 2018.

You should not receive emails reminding you to scan during this time but if you do, then please ignore them and accept our apologies in advance.

If you are planning on going home or leaving the Uk before the official end of term (15th December 2017) then please refer to the information regarding Student Absence.

Finger Scanning System

All students being sponsored by the University under Tier 4 are subject to attendance monitoring. If you are a student being sponsored by the University under Tier 4, you will be expected to scan your finger print every 7 days. You must scan your fingerprint using the fingerprint scanner at your respective campus*.

*If you are a Chiropractic student or a student based at The Sports Park, you may scan your fingerprint at either Glyntaff or Treforest Campus.

If you have any queries, please contact your Campus Advice Zone.

Why must the University monitor attendance?

In order to fulfil our Tier 4 sponsorship duties, the University of South Wales must undertake specific processes and procedures when enrolling international non-EU students. In order to keep all of our students safe, it is our primary objective to ensure that everything is done to protect our Tier 4 Sponsor Licence and thus the immigration status of our international non-EU students.

International non-EU students, who have declared that their primary intention in the UK is to attend a full time course of study delivered by the University of South Wales, have been sponsored by the University under Tier 4 immigration. To this end, it is necessary to monitor attendance for all international non-EU students, studying on a Tier 4 visa, in order for the University to meet its sponsorship obligations.

What is required of me?

If you are an international non-EU student, studying on a Tier 4 visa at one of our South Wales campuses, you are expected to live within the South Wales/South West area and you must have a commutable term time address in the South Wales/South West area in order to attend the University.

As well as making sure your class attendance and submission requirements are met, you will be required to scan your finger every 7 days. This is irrespective of your course or at which point you are in your studies. This will enable the University to meet its attendance monitoring obligation and confirm to the Home Office that you are actively engaged in your studies. No exemptions will be made on the basis of required academic contact points (e.g. students in dissertation stage) or geographical location.

If you are/will be undertaking a work placement as part of your course, you must refer to your Campus Advice Zone so that you fully understand how the campus will monitor your attendance whilst you are not studying on campus.

If you are enrolled onto a full-time postgraduate course, which commences in September and you are studying on a Tier 4 visa, you are expected to remain in the UK, specifically within South Wales, until your course completion date, adhering to compulsory University Tier 4 attendance monitoring procedures for the duration of your course.

Failure to adhere to University attendance monitoring requirements could result in the withdrawal of your University Tier 4 sponsorship, so it is extremely important that you remain fully engaged with your studies and scan your finger every 7 days.

Further information about your responsibilities as a Tier 4 sponsored student can be found by visiting the following link:http://intsupport.southwales.ac.uk/pointbasedsystem/

What happens if I do not adhere to Tier 4 attendance monitoring requirements?

If you fail to adhere to the University’s Tier 4 Attendance Monitoring requirements, you could risk being withdrawn from your course and the University could withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship, which would result in your Tier 4 visa being curtailed and you would need to leave the UK.

There are six stages of the University’s Tier 4 Attendance Monitoring policy. If you adhere to the University’s requirements – attending classes, meeting coursework/assessment submission requirements and scanning your fingerprint every 7 days – you will remain at Stage 0.

The table below gives a summary of what to expect if you fail to adhere to the University’s Tier 4 Attendance Monitoring requirements.

Missed interaction after: Move to: Expected Communications:
7 days Stage 1 Automated SMS and email
14 days Stage 2 Automated SMS and email
21 days Stage 3 Personalised email/letter – invitation to attend meeting
28 days Stage 4 Personalised email/letter – notification of withdrawal and appeals process
10 days appeals period Stage 5 Personalised email/letter – confirming withdrawal


Stage 1 and Stage 2
If you do not adhere to the University’s requirements, you will be considered to be in breach and you will progress through the stages. If you reach Stage 1 and/or Stage 2, you will be sent automated communications from the attendance system reminding you to scan (including SMS to your mobile phone and emails to your student and personal accounts).

Stage 3
After 21 days of missed interactions*, you will move to Stage 3. You will be sent a personalised email to your student and personal accounts and/or a letter to your term and home address (where appropriate), inviting you to attend a meeting with your campus administrator to discuss your non-attendance/engagement. At this point, your campus administration team may liaise with academic colleagues and use USW systems to check classroom attendance and levels of engagement with USW IT systems.

*Students who are scanning their fingerprint but not attending or engaging academically, will immediately be considered to be in breach of the University’s Tier 4 Attendance Monitoring requirements and will move to Stage 3.

Stage 4
Continuous failure to attend/engage thereafter will result in you being moved to Stage 4. You will receive a personalised email to your student and personal accounts and/or a letter to your term and home address (where appropriate) notifying you of the University’s intention to withdraw you from your course and withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship and information regarding the appeals process and the deadline for submission.

Stage 5
If you fail to lodge a successful appeal, you will be moved to Stage 5, be withdrawn from your course and your Tier 4 sponsorship will be withdrawn. Consequently, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will take steps to curtail your visa and will no longer be able to remain in the UK. You will receive a personalised email to your student and personal accounts and/or a letter to your term address confirming that you have been withdrawn from studies and that the University has withdrawn Tier 4 sponsorship and that the UKVI have been informed accordingly.

Centre for International English students
Attendance on courses run by the Centre for International English is compulsory. Students must attend every day. Students who do not attend and are unable to account for their non-attendance will be withdrawn from their studies.

The Centre for International English will notify you of the intention to withdraw you from the course and provide details of the appeals process. If you fail to lodge a successful appeal, you will be withdrawn from your course and your Tier 4 sponsorship will be withdrawn. Consequently, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will take steps to curtail your visa and will no longer be able to remain in the UK. You will receive a personalised email to your student and personal accounts and/or a letter to your term address confirming that you have been withdrawn from studies and that the University has withdrawn Tier 4 sponsorship and that the UKVI have been informed accordingly.

How will my fingerprint information be captured?

The new biometric system will use mathematical algorithms to read and recognise your finger. The fingerprint recognition device does not take a copy of your fingerprint. Instead it takes a biometric reading, including a mathematical equation, based on angles and distances between lines within the finger. The information from the biometric reading will only be held within the fingerprint recognition device. It will not be sent to the software system used to monitor attendance.

How do I get started?

In order to use the system you will need to register. This is a simple process and should take only a few minutes. Please contact your Campus Advice Zone for more information on when and where you can register.

Where can I scan?

The fingerprint recognition devices are located as follows:

Cardiff Campus
Cardiff Advice Zone, ATRiUM Building
City Campus Library, B Floor
Glyntaff Campus
Lower Glyntaff – Main Foyer, Elaine Morgan Building
Upper Glyntaff – Main Foyer, Alfred Russell Wallace Building
Treforest Campus
Main Foyer, Glynneath Building
Main Foyer, Ty Crawshay
First Floor (opposite lift), Student Support & Library Services

Failure to adhere to these requirements could result in the withdrawal of your University Tier 4 sponsorship, so it is extremely important that you remain fully engaged with your studies and scan your finger every 7 days.

If you have difficulties attending University, please discuss this with your Campus Advice Zone so that your immigration status is not put at risk.

Who will access my fingerprint information?

The purpose of capturing fingerprint information is so that the University are able to identify students when scanning their attendance. University staff will not access fingerprint information as it is meaningless except to the scanning device, nor will your fingerprint information be shared with third parties, including the Home Office. Furthermore, the information held within the devices would be of no use to anyone who had access to it.

Will my fingerprint information be retained for future?

When you have left University and are no longer enrolled, it is intended that the fingerprint images will be removed from the fingerprint recognition devices.

Student Absence

It is not expected that students on undergraduate or postgraduate taught courses should request absence from their studies. However, in exceptional cases, the University may consider requests and grant approval. Please visit our Student Administration Student Absence pages for more information.