Staff responsibilities

Admission & CAS issuing

The Admissions team assesses whether an applicant should be admitted as a student and whether they are eligible to be issued with a CAS, or whether another immigration category is appropriate. This is based on the Home Office's guidance for sponsors.

Home Office penalties for incorrectly sponsoring Student Visas are severe – they will revoke the sponsor licence if it is discovered that an institution has offered sponsorship to students where the requirements are not met.


ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme)

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is administered by the UK government. It requires students of some nationalities studying “certain sensitive subjects” in UK universities to apply for special clearance before commencing study.

Nationalities exempt from the ATAS requirement are Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, USA and every country in the European Economic Area.

International students with other nationalities require ATAS if they are studying at postgraduate level (i.e. at SCQF 11 or above) under a CAH3 code that requires ATAS clearance.

For undergraduate and postgraduate students, the list of programmes that require ATAS is here.

For postgraduate research students, the school or research institute will provide Admissions with a research proposal and appropriate CAH3 code (this is all part of the normal admissions process) so that Admissions can establish whether the student is required to apply for ATAS.

Students studying an ATAS relevant programme are sent the relevant information in their offer letter. It is the student's responsibility to apply for ATAS (the application is submitted online and is free of charge). The application is considered solely by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and, just like a visa application, the University has no influence on the process.

If there are any changes to the student’s research proposal, these must be approved by the supervisor. A new ATAS application must then be submitted by the student.

Engagement monitoring

UKVI requires institutions to monitor the engagement of any students they sponsored for a Student Visa.

Colleges, Schools & RIs must follow the engagement monitoring guidance on SharePoint. This guidance gives specific instructions on:

  • What query to run to identify the students who need to be monitored in each school/RI
  • How many academic engagement points are required
  • How engagement data should be stored and for how long
  • How to manage and follow up instances of students with poor engagement

UKVI regularly audits institutions, and during an audit it will provide a list of students whose attendance/engagement records it wishes to view.

Student records

The University is required to inform the Home Office if any students under our visa sponsorship:

  • Withdraw from or defer their studies (this includes fitness to study leave of absence)
  • Change to a different programme
  • Change study location or go on a work placement

These changes must be reported to the Home Office within 10 working days of the change happening.

To enable these reporting deadlines to be met, you must ensure that student records are updated promptly throughout the academic year and not retrospectively.