This procedure covers what you can expect if UEA has concerns about your absence from classes, missed coursework submission or other indications that you are not engaging with your studies.

It also covers what you can expect if there are issues which may be affecting your own safety or where your behaviour may be impacting on the welfare of other students and staff.

It covers what steps UEA will put in place to help you to improve your engagement.

This procedure applies to undergraduate and taught postgraduate students only: postgraduate research students have a separate procedure. It should be read in conjunction with General Regulation 13, Engagement,  which sets out the engagement regulations you must abide by. There are other documents which you may wish to refer to. In particular, the Student Charter provides an overview of UEA's and students’ mutual responsibilities and obligations in establishing an outstanding and vibrant community of learning.

If you have any queries about this procedure please contact your Academic Adviser, your LTS Hub, Student Services or the SU Advice Centre.



UEA recognises that studying at university can, at times, be difficult and stressful. We will endeavour to support you at those times when personal difficulties hinder your ability to engage with your studies and university life.

All areas of UEA have a part to play in creating and maintaining a culture which promotes positive mental health and wellbeing and supports your learning and teaching to help you to succeed in your studies and enrich your university experience.

UEA has a diverse, inclusive and compassionate community among staff and students, one which supports you to disclose difficulties, and provides you with support, advice and guidance tailored to your needs. In signposting and working with key services, UEA is committed to providing you with consistent support, helping to ensure that no student feels left behind.

Working in partnership with the Students' Union, UEA is committed to regularly evaluating its procedures to ensure that student wellbeing is a priority and ensuring that staff have the appropriate training for their roles.

engagement expectations


UEA and the Students’ Union provide you with opportunities to engage with university life, such as living in a community, volunteering, sports and social events, and work experience. The extent of your engagement with university life will depend on your individual circumstances; however, all students are expected to behave in a way which does not prevent you or others in the wider community from participating in academic and social pursuits in a safe and legal manner.

You are expected to read emails sent to you by the University within 48 hours and to action any requests contained in the emails, provided that you are in a position to do so.

You are expected to engage with your academic study by:

  • Attending and participating in all teaching events and activities required as part of your course;
  • Participating in all assessments, formative and summative, including preparation, submission and reflection on any assessment feedback;
  • Attending regular meetings with your Academic Adviser

If you are unable to attend a teaching event you must inform UEA via the online absence reporting system (login required).

If you have an extenuating circumstance, such as a personal difficulty or health problem, which has a significantly negative impact on your capacity to perform in any assessment, you should follow the Extenuating Circumstances (Taught Programmes) Policy and Regulations so that a remedy or adjustment can be put in place.

If you are enrolled on a programme of study that may lead to admission to a regulated profession overseen by a Professional, Statutory or Regulatory body, not engaging with your course may be considered under General Regulation 14, Professional misconduct and/or unsuitability/fitness to practice and Disciplinary Procedures Part F paragraph 5. 

If you are a student subject to immigration rules, for example by holding a Tier 4 visa, not engaging with your course could result in your suspension from UEA and your permission to remain in the United Kingdom being curtailed (General Regulation 5, Students subject to immigration rules and Disciplinary Procedures Part E paragraph 2). 

Monitoring engagement



UEA monitors your engagement with your studies so that any engagement difficulties can be identified and you can be supported as quickly as possible. It will monitor engagement through a combination of:

  • Your attendance at teaching events relevant to your course
  • Your assessment submissions
  • Your marks achieved in your assessments.

This monitoring will be carried out by relevant people from your School, Student Services and the Learning and Teaching Service.

In addition to potential lack of engagement identified through the routine monitoring detailed above, a member of staff will meet with you if:

  • The extent and severity of extenuating circumstances you have reported suggest that you need additional support
  • A member of staff or other concerned individual raises their concerns about you.

types of engagement meetings

  • Engagement meetings may be School Engagement Meetings or Welfare Engagement Meetings, depending on the type of concerns identified, as described below
  • If there are serious concerns about your wellbeing and the potential impact on yourself and/or others, there may be an immediate need to discuss your situation in an ‘Ability to Engage’ Panel meeting
  • Students may be reported as missing when there has been a period of unexplained absence and there has been no response to attempts to contact them. In such cases, UEA will follow the Missing Student Procedure

engagement procedure


If UEA has concerns about your potential lack of engagement and the possible implications on you and your studies, it will follow the procedure outlined below. These steps are to help you and if you are invited to a meeting you must attend. At these meetings:

  • Staff will discuss with you why UEA is concerned about you
  • You will have the opportunity to talk about any problems you are having which are affecting your engagement
  • Together, we will discuss what actions you can follow to improve your engagement
  • Together, we will develop an Engagement Plan, an example of which is at the back of this document
  • Your Engagement Plan will include a summary of the issues affecting you and, typically, actions which you can take to improve your situation and also what actions UEA can take to support you.

school engagement meeting


When UEA has first identified concerns about your engagement you will be invited to meet with someone from your School such as your Academic Adviser or the School Engagement Officer. The following points will be addressed:

  • This is your opportunity to discuss issues affecting your engagement with your studies and what steps you and UEA can put in place to support you. To ensure we can give you the help you need, you will need to tell us what is preventing your engagement
  • We will agree on a list of actions, which will be recorded in an Engagement Plan for you
  • The Engagement Plan is the record of the meeting, and this will be shared with you and with those staff at UEA responsible for your student record and for supporting you
  • We will agree a review date to check that you have followed the actions and that your engagement has improved
  • If you have any queries or concerns about your Engagement Plan you should contact the person you met with, to discuss your concerns with them and agree a way forward
  • At the agreed date, the review will be an opportunity for you to reflect on your Engagement Plan and for us to consider whether your engagement has sufficiently improved. If, at the review date, there are still concerns you will be invited to a Welfare Engagement Meeting, as described below.

If you do not attend the meeting, without a good reason for your absence, you will be invited to a Welfare Engagement Meeting or referred to your Head of School for consideration of further action. 

welfare engagement meeting


At this meeting you will discuss your continuing engagement issues and possible solutions. You will meet with your Academic Adviser (or another appropriate person from your School) and usually a member of the Student Services team and with LTS if appropriate. They will discuss with you in more detail the issues affecting your welfare and wellbeing, and possible actions to help and support you, and improve your engagement.

It is important that you participate and engage with the process; if you think it would be helpful you can bring a friend along or ask to speak to a member of staff privately. If you do not participate in the process you may be in breach of University regulations which results in a disciplinary process which could require your withdrawal from your course and the University.


Following the discussions, we will agree the most appropriate outcome for your situation. This might be an enhanced Engagement Plan or some time away from your studies:

An Engagement Plan designed to address any welfare or wellbeing issues

  • The Engagement Plan is the record of the meeting, and this will be shared with you and with those staff at UEA responsible for your student record and for supporting you
  • You will agree a review date to check that the actions have improved your engagement
  • If you have any queries or concerns about your Engagement Plan you should contact the person you met with, or a member of Student Services, to discuss your concerns and agree a way forward
  • At the agreed date, the review will be an opportunity for you to reflect on your Engagement Plan and consider whether your engagement has sufficiently improved.


Consideration and application to interrupt your studies if your difficulties are such that some time away from the university would be helpful.


Referral to an Ability to Engage Meeting.


If you are not engaging and there are no health or other mitigating circumstance to explain your non-engagement, your case would be referred to your Head of School for potential disciplinary action in accordance with General Regulation 13. This may involve referral to the Senate Student Discipline Committee and your withdrawal from UEA. Information about this is available in the University Disciplinary and Investigative Procedures and Powers, Part F: Senate Student Discipline Committee, Paragraph 5.

If you do not attend the Meeting without good reason your case would be referred to your Head of School for potential disciplinary action in accordance with General Regulation 13.


Ability to engage meeting


If there are serious concerns about your wellbeing and its potential impact on yourself and/or others, there may be an immediate need to discuss your situation in an ‘Ability to Engage’ Panel meeting. This can happen at any point in the engagement process. The aim of the meeting is to have a constructive discussion about what is best for you in your present circumstances.

It has an outcome of either enforced interruption to study or referral to a Wellbeing Engagement Meeting; students will not be referred to any discipline procedures associated with non-engagement as a result of this Ability to Engage meeting.


The Panel Meeting

You will be informed of the meeting arrangements and who will be on the Panel by at least five working days in advance of the meeting; normally it is the Director of Student Services acting as Chair, the Head of Student Services (Wellbeing), and your Head of School, with secretarial support. If you think it would be helpful you can bring a friend or SU Adviser along to the meeting.

The Panel members will discuss their concerns with you and may ask you further questions and will give you the opportunity to inform the Panel of anything you want them to take into consideration. The Panel will meet on their own after meeting with you, to consider which outcome would be most appropriate for you in the circumstances.



  • Where the Panel regards the continuation of your studies to pose a significant risk to yourself and/or others or it considers that your ability to engage is sufficiently undermined by your current circumstances it will enforce a mandatory period of interruption. The interruption period would be no longer than 12 months in the first instance, but your return would be dependent on you being fit to return to your studies so may be extended
  • Where the Panel is satisfied that the your ability to engage is not impaired to such a degree that a mandatory interruption is appropriate, the case shall be referred to Wellbeing Engagement Meeting, and that meeting will be held with you as soon as possible and within 10 working days. That meeting will determine how best you can be supported in continuing your studies and what ongoing monitoring may be required to ensure that your ability to engage is kept under review for as long as the relevant concerns persist.

You will be notified of the Panel’s decision in writing within five working days of the date of the meeting.


Return to Study following an interruption

You may return to study following a period of required interruption provided that UEA is satisfied that the issues giving rise to the interruption have been satisfactorily addressed. This will involve a review of your case and current circumstances before your return. If you have evidence to support your return earlier than the date stipulated by the Panel, this will be considered.

Your return may be subject to academic conditions for return such as the need to repeat some or all of the course of study and a Welfare Engagement Meeting on your return to agree an Engagement Plan for your continued support. Any interruption and return is subject to limitation set out in UEA regulations regarding length of study (length of course plus two years). 


Appealing the Outcome of the Ability to Engage Panel

You have a right to a second opinion regarding the Panel’s outcome. Your case would be reviewed by the University Physician at your request if you disagreed with the outcome.

SU advice centre


You may seek independent advice on this process via the Students’ Union’s advice service, who are an impartial team of trained and experienced advisers. The service provides free and confidential advice and representation on a range of issues relating to student life, including all university procedures, housing, consumer and employment rights, money, and welfare issues. The students’ union is completely independent of the University, and therefore is without conflict of interest. You can find the contact details for the students’ union’s advice service on their website. 

Monitoring attendance for students on taught programmes


1. Introduction

As the monitoring of students’ attendance at teaching sessions is set out in the University’s Student Engagement Procedure, this document sets out the obligations on staff to ensure that students’ attendance is monitored, and that data relating to attendance monitoring could be as accurate and as timely as possible.


2. Recording attendance at Teaching Events

Students’ absences at teaching events are recorded either through students’ self-absence reporting, using an e:Vision task, or the Module Organiser taking a record of absences on a class register and recording absences in e:Vision.


3. A Module Organiser’s obligations in relation to the recording of attendance data

Module Organisers (even if they do not teach all the timetabled sessions for that module) shall ensure that at least one register is completed per week for all students registered for each of their modules, where teaching patterns permit. Where module teaching is delivered less frequently, a register should be taken at each teaching event.

The academic member of staff delivering the teaching session should complete the register online, but the Module Organiser will retain responsibility to ensure that the records are complete.

Academic staff shall ensure that they complete the e-registers on their e:Vision task promptly (within two working days) after the teaching event.


4. Monitoring of student attendance whilst on placements/Year In Industry

A suitable monitoring method must be agreed between the School and the placement provider before the student commences placement. The School must ensure that arrangements are in place to register and record attendance and that regular contact is maintained between the School and the Placement Student, at a frequency of normally no less than once per month. Attendance should be confirmed through a named contact at the Placement Provider to confirm that the Placement Student is attending and engaging with their placement.

Schools must liaise with the Learning and Teaching Service (LTS) and send the placement address, dates and average hours per week for all students on work placement to the relevant LTS Hub, so that these can be logged.

For students with Tier 4 visas, LTS will share the information to UEA Student Visa Compliance. All information relating to the location, start and end dates, and average hours of the placement and the Placement Provider for any Tier 4 student must be sent to UEA Student Visa Compliance before the placement commences so that this information can be reported to the Home Office as required as part of UEA’s Tier 4 sponsor duties.

It is the School’s responsibility to maintain and retain up-to-date attendance and absence records for students with a Tier 4 visa undertaking placements. These records should be retained for a period of no less than five years and should be available for immediate audit inspection by the Home Office or UEA Student Visa Compliance upon request.


5. Monitoring student attendance for students on Study Abroad

If the year or semester abroad is organised through the Study Abroad Office, it shall ensure that a suitable monitoring method has been agreed with the host institution. If the year abroad is organised by the School, the School shall ensure that it has an agreed monitoring method with the host institution.


6. Monitoring student attendance for taught postgraduate students during their dissertation period

In order to ensure that the University is able to demonstrate taught postgraduate students’ attendance and engagement during their dissertation period, academic staff who act as dissertation supervisors should maintain a record after each meeting with the student. They should also make notes of any contact with the student, including such examples as email, phone or via Skype.