Jon Pink - Academic Registrars Council

Jon Pink
Academic Registrar, University of Kent
ARC Council Meeting
HESA Data Charges for Resubmission
HESA Data Charges for Resubmission
• The University of Kent needs to make a small change to our
2012 HESA return in order to address a HEFCE question about
2012-13 old regime students not present in 2011/12. This
involves completing a flag on 8 existing records to identify co
funding and supplying 4 new records for which the proposed
(standard) HESA charge is 20% of our annual subscription or
• Is anyone else fed up with the level of these charges for tiny
data amendments (charges that date from a time when HESA
data was perhaps used for less exacting purposes), or is it just
KENT whose data is fractionally on the wrong side of perfect?
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Jon Pink
Academic Registrar, University of Kent
ARC Council Meeting
Home Office (UKBA) Update
UKBA Expectation for Monitoring Engagement
• UKBA sent a letter to UUK, UKCISA, Guild HE and AHUA dated
15 February 2013 setting out further clarification of expected
contacts and monitoring
• Fundamental Principle of PBS is those who benefit from
immigration should play their part in controlling it.
• Intention of Tier 4 attendance monitoring is to ensure
students with permission to study continue to do so.
• Sponsors must have systems in place to identify when a
student has stopped studying
• Not prescription on a particular attendance monitoring or
record keeping system due to diversity of the sector
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UKBA Compliance Visits
UKBA Expectation for Monitoring Engagement
• No requirement to create separate monitoring systems for
international students
• Expectation that monitoring is incorporated existing policies
and systems for all students
• If systems and processes are compliant then there is no need
to introduce separate physical checks
• Compliance officers are starting to collect examples of
systems that meet requirements
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Current position of monitoring engagement
• I think this is an issue that is being resolved by institutions
• At the last (beginning of May) Practitioner group meeting
there no longer seems to be an issue
• Universities appear to be more confident they have things in
place, now need to check internal compliance
visits will focus on:
• Compliance
 Is the individual continuing to study at an institution?
 Is there a robust policy and process in place to monitor continued
engagement with studies?
 Is this process being followed?
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Jon Pink
Academic Registrar, University of Kent
ARC Postgraduate Practitioner Group
Credibility Interviews
Credibility Interview Issues - Example 1
You have applied to study pre-sessional English course from 28/04/2013 30/08/2013
at the XXXXXX. I note that you previously studied an English course at YYYYY. You
abandoned this course 1 month into a 9 months course. When asked at interview why
you abandoned this course you advised you felt it was too long.
I am not satisfied that this is credible given that the course you now propose to go on,
although shorter in length, actually finishes 2 months after your previous course would
have. I also note that when asked what you did when you returned to China you
advised you self-studied English but you demonstrated a low standard of English at
your interview.
Given these inconsistencies I am not satisfied that you are a genuine student. In view
of this I am therefore not satisfied that you meet the requirements of paragraph
245ZV(k) of the Immigration Rules and I therefore refuse your application for entry
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Credibility Interview Issues - Example 2
'You advised that you finished studying textiles in 2002 and have been working as a
photo journalist for Beijing News for 10 years. You propose to go to the UK to do an 18
week English course and then a Masters in Visual Anthropology from September 2013
for 1 year. You advised that this would cost around £40,000 in total.
When asked what you would do when you finish your studies in the UK you advised
you would return to China and return to the same job. It is not credible that somebody
would spend £40,000 to take 18 months out of their life to study in the UK, to simply
return to the same job. You did state you had been 'encountering problems' in your job
and felt the Masters degree would help you with this however you were unable to
elaborate further when asked.
You also gave inconsistent answers regarding who was paying for your studies in the
UK. You initially stated you would be paying for it yourself and this was clarified by
saying you would pay for it solely. However later in the interview when you were asked
to provide evidence to show the origin for a deposit of 203,000RMB made a week
before your interview, you stated it was from your mother's account. These
inconsistencies cast doubt on your credibility I therefore refuse your application' etc etc
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Credibility Interview Issues - Example 3
You stated that you completed your full time study in Pakistan in 2012 intermediate in
dental hygiene. Against this background you now intend to return to study in order to
follow DEI Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support Services at XXXXXXX and in order to
do so you have taken out a substantial loan from the bank.
You state that at the end of the course you intend to return to Pakistan because as a
family you intend to establish a hospital trust and you will establish a dental laboratory as
you are a dental hygienist. However the course contents you described relating to the
diploma do not relate to starting a hospital business/trust or a dental laboratory, indeed
there are no elements of dentistry in the proposed course. You have therefore, not
demonstrated that you undertook serious research before deciding on your course or
place of studies and i am not satisfied your post-study plans relate to the proposed
course. There is no evidence to show how completion of this course or how this single
qualification will enable you to achieve your post-study plans.
The course fees are £3500 and maintenance is £7200 making a total of £10,700. You
state your father is financing your studies and he earns Rs 150,000 (£993: £Rs 151) a
month, however you state your father financially supports 4 people. This level of financial
outlay is not commensurate with your family’s personal and financial circumstances in
Pakistan. I am not therefore satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, you are a genuine
student and refuse your application under paragraph 245ZV(K) .....
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Credibility Interview Issues – Example 4
You have been interviewed in relation to your application. You are an A Level student
in Sri Lanka and would be abandoning your course after 1.5 years to follow and NQF6
course. I acknowledge that a British qualification would be beneficial to your long term
You appear to have chose the course solely on the recommendation of a friend. Whilst
I accept the value of personal recommendation, you appear to have done little
research of your own and did not name any other educations establishments that you
had considered. In addition you knew little about the course or course context. Your
account of why you are studying now and why you are studying at University X lead
me to doubt that you are a genuine student.
In view of the foregoing, you do not meet the requirements to be granted entry
clearance under Tier 4 General Student and I refuse your application under paragraph
245ZV(k) of the immigration rules.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Credibility Interview Issues – Example 5
You were sent an email to [email protected] and an interview was arranged for
You did not attend the interview and have not contacted us to explain why.
As you have failed to attend the interview I am refusing your application under
paragraph 320 (7D) of the immigration rules for failure, without providing a reasonable
explanation to comply with a request made on behalf of the Entry Clearance Officer to
attend interview. Your application is also refused under para 245ZV (a).
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Legislation 245 ZV(ca) – English Language
The applicant must, if required to do so on examination or
interview, be able to demonstrate without the assistance of an
interpreter English language proficiency of a standard to be
expected from an individual who has reached the standard
specified in a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS)
assigned in accordance with Appendix A paragraph 118(b)
(for the avoidance of doubt, the applicant will not be subject to
a test at the standard set out in Appendix A, paragraph
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Legislation 245 ZV(k) – Genuine Student
[To qualify for entry clearance as a student] the entry
clearance officer must be satisfied that the applicant is a
genuine student.
245 ZV(k) will not be applied to a national or the rightful
holder of a qualifying passport issued by one of the relevant
competent authorities listed in Appendix H.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Explanation (email dated 21 May 2013)
Interviewing has always been a part of the visa application
process. This additional step has been introduced to help us
continue to identify any non-genuine students trying to abuse
the immigration system. The UK continues to welcome the
brightest and best students to our universities and education
institutions to drive growth in the economy. Genuine students
have nothing to fear from credibility testing.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Process (email dated 21 May 2013) - 1
We will conduct a credibility interview at the Visa Application
Centre when the student applicant attends to submit their
application and biometric information (fingerprint and
The interview will primarily be conducted using videoconferencing. We are also putting in place suitable telephony
as a contingency.
Interviews are not carried out by entry clearance officers,
rather an interviewing officer based in the UK. The officer will
question the applicant about their reasons for studying in the
UK. The interview will be conducted in English and provide
assurance that the English language requirements of the Tier
4 rules are met. A report of the interview will be sent to the
visa officer.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Process (email dated 21 May 2013) - 2
The report of the interview will be an additional piece of
information that will be considered by the visa officer at the
decision making hub, alongside the application and
supporting documents. It will help the visa officer make an
informed and high quality decision on the application.
If the visa officer needs to examine wider genuine student
rule points, such as immigration history or finances, then the
applicant may be called for an in-depth interview.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
What they are looking for:
a) The immigration history of the applicant, in the UK and
other countries, for example:
 Previous visa applications for the UK and other countries, including
reasons for any visa refusals;
 The amount of time the applicant has spent in the UK or other
countries on previous visas, and for what purpose; and
 Whether the applicant has complied with the terms of previous visas
for the UK and other countries.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
What they are looking for:
b) The applicant's education history, study and post study
plans, for example:
 How long has elapsed since the applicant last studied, and whether the
applicant has sound reasons for returning to, or commencing formal
study in this area, particularly after any significant gap;
 The applicant's knowledge of, and level of research undertaken into,
the proposed course of study and sponsoring institution, and living
arrangements in the UK;
 The applicant's personal circumstances, where these would make it
difficult to complete a full time course of study; and
 The relevance of the course to post-study plans.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Roll Out – from email
We tested credibility interviews in April 2013. We started with the
Philippines, closely followed by Thailand, India, China, Nigeria and
In May 2013 we started to introduce mandatory appointments for
these locations. This was then extended to the remaining countries.
Overall, we are installing video conferencing equipment in over 70
Visa Application Centres worldwide. One of our current commercial
partners (VFS) is providing a hub in the UK for this year from which
the interviews will be conducted. The hub is now operational.
From 1st June 2013, interviewing will become part of the mandatory
Tier 4 (General) visa application process in many countries.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Jon Pink
Academic Registrar, University of Kent
ARC Postgraduate Practitioner Group
Home Office Co-regulation Groups
Steering Group
• Membership from HO, BIS, UUK, Guild HE, ARC and AHAU
• The co-regulation steering group will act as a strategic body
to: Agree and oversee a programme of work to be delivered
by the co-regulation working group. The programme of work
will be determined via:
 (i) BIS, UUK/Guild HE, ARC, AHUA and HO discussions on issues
of mutual interest in the operation of the PBS sponsorship
system for HEIs, focussing on support for legitimate students
and robust tackling of abuse.
 (ii) Jointly monitoring the way policy is being delivered and how
it impacts on HEIs.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Working Group
• Membership from HO, BIS, UUK, Guild HE and ARC
• The co-regulation working group will act as a body of
practitioners at an operational level to further the aims of the
steering group as set out above. Specifically it will:
 Provide a forum to take forward in practical terms, items from
the co-regulation work programme in workshops or other
agreed formats, reporting back on progress on a monthly basis.
This may include commissioning or organising focus group
sessions on specific issues of concern, as agreed by the steering
 Put forward issues for consideration of further work for the
consideration of the steering group.
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Steering Group Priorities
Review and change the structure of the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance
Update the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance to give greater clarity over
ambiguous areas
Review, and possibly amend, the sanctions applied to sponsors
who do not meet their duties
Oversee the Higher Education Assurance Team and the training for
that group of staff
Agree joint communications to come from the group to inform others
its work
Consult with the sector on new initiatives and changes to the policy
and guidance
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Jon Pink
Academic Registrar, University of Kent
ARC Postgraduate Practitioner Group
Higher Education Assurance Team
The team has now been appointed and formally come
together on 10 June 2013
Will be led by Derek Knight who many will know. Has
extensive experience (relatively) of visiting HEIs
The team will have 5 other members from across the UK
Each member will still be based in their current area and
will come together for training and visits
They will cover some Tier 2/5 visits as well as ALL Tier 4
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UKBA Compliance Visits
HEAT Training Programme
• ARC, UUK and GuildHE are working with the HO on a training
programme for the HEAT
areas to cover are:
• Proposed
 UK Higher Education development, context and diversity
The UK Higher Education Regulatory Framework
Qualifications, Programmes and Assessment
Recruiting and Admitting Students
Student Engagement, Monitoring and Support
• To be delivered in HEIs across the UK
• Programme will also include visits to UK HEIs
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UKBA Compliance Visits
HEAT Training Programme
• To take place end of June to end of August
are discussing how this will be delivered:
• We Leadership
Foundation may be able to offer a tailored
programme drawing on current programmes
 ARC Members deliver sessions
• Whichever is chosen there will be visits to representatives
HEIs across the UK
• Meeting with LF next week to discuss
• May come back top ARC members to see who may be able to
support the programme
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UKBA Compliance Visits
Jon Pink
Academic Registrar, University of Kent
ARC Postgraduate Practitioner Group
Doctoral Extension Scheme
Key elements
Tier 4 (General) and HEI sponsor; monitoring and
reporting duties
Must apply in UK (with current Tier 4 leave?)
Applicant must not have completed doctorate
Must apply within 60 days before “expected end
date” (date award confirmed)
Less restricted work from date of actual completion,
before or after “expected end date”
Can qualify for “established presence”
“Expected end date”
Date award is expected to be formally confirmed, eg
after thesis submitted, viva held, any corrections
accepted [Rules paragraph 6]
This is ‘Course end date’ to use on CAS
CAS must not be assigned more than 60 days before
this date [Appendix A paragraph 116(h)]
Student cannot apply after this date
Sponsoring during writing up period
• Sponsor Guidance para. 491:
• Can continue to sponsor during period when writing
up a thesis or completing a viva if participation is
not required and can meet sponsor duties
• If don’t sponsor, those students who return as Student
Visitors will not be eligible for DES
Sponsor duties
confirmation of sponsorship from CAS guide:
• • Standard
Sponsorship under DES
Expected end date
Continued sponsorship for 12 months
Student is aware of responsibility to comply with Tier 4
At least 2 contacts in 12-month period
Intention is for sponsor to offer support in seeking and
gaining skilled work but not formal responsibility
No requirement that person seek or obtain skilled work
No compliance action against sponsor if person
becomes overstayer
Sponsor duties: reporting
Successful completion of doctorate
End of course without award of doctorate
Missed contact without reasonable explanation and
subsequent failure to establish contact with no
reasonable expectation of further contact
Permanent departure from UK
Breach of conditions
Fewer work restrictions from date of actual
completion of course
No employment as a
• doctor or dentist in training
• professional sportsperson/coach
Can undertake all other employment including
permanent full-time vacancy and employment as an
Supplementary study is possible
Supplements other permitted activities, eg work
Supplementary study can be at any level, with any
institution (including Tier 4 sponsor for DES) and with
any mode of attendance
Areas of contention
Who can apply?
Is ATAS required?
Does the cap apply?
Can students apply if leave expires before
but within 60 days of expected end date?
What to put on the CAS?
How will employers understand the scheme?
Who can apply?
Home Office – current Tier 4 only
Rules – anyone who would usually qualify to
apply under Tier 4 (General), eg pre-Tier 4
student leave, Tier 1 (PSW), Tier 2,
overstayers by no more than 28 days
If possible switch to Tier 4 to avoid refusal
Gap between end of leave and award
Home Office – no, must apply for further Tier 4
student leave
Rules – nothing to prevent application as long as no
more than 60 days before expected end date; leave
should not be allowed to expire
Other option – apply as student, then vary or apply
again but under DES
Jon Pink
Academic Registrar, University of Kent
ARC Postgraduate Practitioner Group
Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme
New in Summary
Page 41
MBA, General [and Global – UKTI only]
endorsements: additional 1000 places
Amended allocation system
Lower requirements for business and progress
Entry clearance now possible
Eligibility for Tier 2 postdoctoral researchers
Unlimited hours of employment
UKBA Compliance Visits
MBA graduates only
1000 endorsements
Max 10 per MBA-awarding institution
MBA graduates
Everyone else, including Tier 2 postdoctoral researchers
900 endorsements
Max 10 per institution
• • Number
Institutions that offer MBAs – max 20 endorsements each
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Institutions that do not offer MBAs – max 10 endorsements
UKBA Compliance Visits
Endorsements: allocation
Number requested or equal share of those available
Maximum 10 each of General and MBA
If fewer than 880 General or 980 MBA endorsements
allocated, all HTS, A-rated T2/T5 sponsors invited to
request remaining endorsements – deadline 30
Endorsements allocated April 2013
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• 78 endorsing bodies
• 77 allocated General endorsements, leaving at least 130
• 63 allocated MBA endorsements, leaving at least 370 unallocated
UKBA Compliance Visits
Endorsements: unallocated
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Remaining endorsements allocated to institutions
with degree-awarding powers, whether or not
previously allocated endorsements for that year
Will be allocated number requested or equal share of
those available
Any remaining endorsements will not be allocated;
unused endorsements cannot be carried over to next
year starting 6 April
UKBA Compliance Visits
Business and progress
“World class” now “genuine and credible
business ideas and entrepreneurial skills”
To extend leave for extra year, endorsing
body no longer required to assess if likely to
meet requirements of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
within 12 months – instead must endorse that
applicant has “made satisfactory progress”
Home Office website out of date on this – has
been acknowledged
Entry clearance now possible
No requirement in Rules to have studied in UK – just
to have been awarded UK recognised degree by
endorsing body within 12 months of application .
Policy guidance currently incorrect but acknowledged
No requirement to have studied in UK with any
particular category of leave, ie not restricted to those
who can ‘switch’ in to Tier 4 in UK
Tier 1 (GE) extenders can also apply for entry
Tier 2 postdoctoral researchers
General endorsement only
Endorsing body must be researcher’s Tier 2 sponsor
Must have been awarded recognised UK degree
from a UK HEI
No requirement to have studied in UK
Degree can have been awarded longer than 12
months before application
•[Appendix A Table 10]
No longer limited to working for business applicant
has established and other employment of no more
than 20 hpw
Only remaining restrictions
• no employment as dr or dentist in training
• no employment as professional sportsperson
(including coach)
•[Paragraph 245FC(iii) and (iv)]

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