COVID19 Frequently asked questions - International Students

COVID19 Frequently asked questions - International Students

General FAQs, and those referring to teaching and learning can be found on the COVID- 19 information page

If you are thinking of applying to study with us, or currently have an offer to study:

We are currently accepting applications as normal and are fully committed to delivering as much face-to-face teaching and the widest university experience as possible from September 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges, so our planning for September 2020 and beyond will be guided by four key principles:

  • The safety and wellbeing of all students and colleagues is paramount
  • We must maintain the integrity and depth of the educational experience
  • We must build flexibility to respond to changing circumstances
  • The assurance of the quality of our offer

It is our intention to open our campuses within whatever restrictions exist at the time and even where classes are delivered in new ways, we will be welcoming new and returning students to our facilities. We are developing forms of teaching and engagement using technology to allow us to best replicate the experience of being on campus, for those students who are unable to travel in September.

If you are not able to come to the UK in September, we will offer the first semester online, as we have done for our May 2020 intake. As soon as the UK Government recommendations allow university campuses to re-open, you could then progress to study the next semester as normal in the UK, so you would still be able to get a traditional on-campus experience.

The platforms we will be using to deliver online teaching from September 2020 will ensure students have access to lectures and resources at any time to allow you to catch up on anything you may miss. The university is in the process of moving across to the learning experience platform Aula, which focuses on lowering barriers to communication between academics and students, seeking to deliver a substantial increase in student engagement. We know most of our students use their phones to access the internet, and Aula is an exciting mobile-first platform which enables this. Lecturers and faculty support staff will be available if you need any help or support with online learning. For any non-academic queries, our International Student Support team is on hand to offer support and guide you throughout your studies, regardless of whether that is online or on campus.

Attendance requirements will remain the same as normal, so that you have the best chance of success. Online learning comprising online seminars, discussion and directed activities, will take around 15-20 hours per week, with the rest of the time focused on self-directed learning and assessments. We will monitor attendance through online engagement with the course.

We are aware that a number of universities have postponed their September intake. As we have flexible intakes and the opportunity for you to defer to January or May, we will not be postponing our September intake. We have taken the decision not to delay enrolment or teaching start dates, so that we are not affecting the experience/exam dates etc. of students who are able to start in September. We recognise that it can be challenging for international students to get to the UK, so this year more than ever we will offer flexibility with our enrolment dates. We will also look to ensure that you have access to learning resources via an online portal ahead of your enrolment, so that you are in the best possible position when you arrive and will not miss any of your learning. Term dates can be found on the dedicated page, with teaching scheduled to start on Monday 14 September.

If you would like to defer your application to a later intake, just let your Admissions Manager know via the email address on your offer letter, or call us on +44 (0) 24 7765 2152. We have intakes in January, May and September and we are looking to expand the number of courses available to start in January and May 2021 to give more students this option. However, if it is not possible for certain courses to run in January or May, we will support you to defer to the next available intake.

We will defer your application to a later intake completely free of charge. If you defer to an intake within the same academic year, the course fee will remain the same. For example deferring from September 2020 to January 2021. However, if you defer to the following academic year, you will need to pay the fee for that academic year, which is likely to be slightly higher. For example, if you defer from September 2020 to September 2021 the fees are likely to increase. It is also worth considering that many students will be applying for September 2021, and while we will do all we can to accommodate everybody, we would encourage you to continue with your September 2020 entry, or to defer within the 2020/2021 academic year, to January 2021 or May 2021, if possible.

We hope to start issuing CAS letters for students joining us in September from June. In cases where you must provide further evidence such as bank statements, CAS release may take a little longer.

If you cannot travel to the UK in September, we will advise you on what you should do if you have received your CAS and been granted a visa. Please contact one of our advisors on visahelp.io@coventry.ac.uk if you need support with this.

On 22 May 2020, the UK Government released further guidance for visa holders in the UK. They have stated that individuals can request that their visa is extended to 31 July 2020 if they cannot leave because of travel restrictions or self-isolation. To be granted this extension you must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team to inform them of your situation. Complete the online form to let them know your visa has expired or will expire shortly.

This advice will be kept under regular review in case further extensions are needed. You should regularly check the latest government guidance as well as the Student Portal and your University emails for updates, as advice and guidance are inevitably changing as the situation evolves.

All PSE courses that would normally take place on campus in 2020 are now being delivered online. This includes the Summer 15 week, Summer 10 week, Summer 5 week, Autumn 15 week, Autumn 10 week and Autumn 5 week courses. These will be as full-time courses delivered in small class groups, and with individual tutorial support from tutors. Class times may vary from the normal face-to-face schedule. The final assessments will also take place online, and support and training will be given for these during the PSE courses. Further information is available on the Coventry PSE page or London PSE page.

To support students in the current circumstances we are offering the PSE Phoenix Award for all PSE courses in Summer 2020 and Autumn 2020. This financial award is worth £1,200 for the 15 week course, £800 for the 10 week course and £400 for the 5 week course.

For students interested in the 5 week course leading to January 2021 intake, there is also an option to take the PSE Online Award, which is a part-time course starting on 07 September 2020 via the FutureLearn platform. Students interested in studying the part-time course must submit a separate application using the ‘Apply Now’ button on the CU Online PSE page.

If you are studying a degree level course, we accept a range of robust English language qualifications equivalent to IELTS. These will be assessed in your application, but include the following:

Depending on where you studied, your high school qualification may be considered.

If you have taken a recent English language test, please send your results to your Admissions Manager for review. If you need any more information about English Language test requirements, you can also contact your Admissions Manager.

If you have applied for a Research study programme, you are required to meet the stated English Language criteria. The only exception to this requirement is for students educated to UK degree level standard in the medium of English in the UK or in a majority English speaking country within the two years immediately preceding your proposed course start date. In the event of the closure of the recognised and approved test centre, please email research-apps.pg@coventry.ac.uk to request a deferral of your studies, or to discuss whether a Coventry University English Language Test (“CUELT”) is available to you.

Due to COVID-19, many of our face-to-face CUELTS, including those in the UK, have been postponed. We are currently holding face-to-face CUELTs in China, which you can view details of on our website. We are also currently expoloring online CUELT provision and hope to share details of this soon. 

We have been told that many exams boards will be issuing transcripts based on 'predicted' or 'presumed' grades. We will look to use official transcripts like this to help you meet your academic offer conditions.

We know that some students may find it difficult to satisfy all the conditions that they need to be issued a study visa by the UK Government. Our comprehensive refund policy protects your rights, and means that you could be eligible to claim a refund on some or all of your tuition fees. The exact amount of refund depends on your circumstances and when you ask us for a refund.

Applications can now be made to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a new ATAS certificate. In order to join a course that requires ATAS clearance, you must be granted your certificate before you will be permitted to enrol. The current rules on the requirement to obtain an ATAS certificate continue to apply. Further information can be found on the UK Government website.

The UK Government is yet to release further details related to the graduate immigration route. However, they have clearly stated that they remain committed to introducing the route despite the global pandemic. We are waiting for the outcome of further discussions, but believe the government is very clear in its intention to deliver on its promise and open this route to any student graduating from summer 2021.

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If you are a current student:

If you have not been able to complete your academic course, you should first speak to your registry team. If you have been informed that you are required to attend study in the UK after the expiry of your current visa, the International Student Support Team will be happy to help you apply for a visa to return to complete your programme. Please read the information on extending a tier 4 visa.

On 22 May 2020, the UK Government released further guidance for visa holders in the UK. They have stated that individuals can request that their visa is extended to 31 July 2020 if they cannot leave because of travel restrictions or self-isolation. To be granted this extension you must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team to inform them of your situation. Complete the online form to let them know your visa has expired or will expire shortly.

This advice will be kept under regular review in case further extensions are needed. You should regularly check the latest government guidance as well as the Student Portal and your University emails for updates, as advice and guidance is inevitably changing as the situation evolves.

If the University has been required to report to the UKVI that you are no longer sponsored by Coventry University, you will be notified of this by email. Once the University has made this report about your Tier 4 visa and you have left the UK, you must not attempt to re-enter the UK without first obtaining a new visa. If you have successfully completed your course and will be applying for a visa to attend your graduation ceremony, you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa to attend graduation.

Following our decision to suspend graduation ceremonies planned for March/April, we can now confirm that we have had to take the decision to cancel graduation ceremonies scheduled for July 2020. We realise that this will be disappointing news to graduates who were due to attend these ceremonies, but we hope you will understand why we have made this decision.

Please note that due to COVID-19, the March, April and July 2020 ceremonies have been postponed. Read the July graduation notices below, sent Thursday 30 April for more information.

So as not to disadvantage students due to graduate, the awards will be conferred in absentia and certificates posted to home addresses. It is therefore important that students due to graduate this spring check that their address details are up-to-date on SOLAR. We want to mark the great achievements of everyone who is awarded their degree in July, and will share more information in due course. 

For further information, Coventry University and CU Group students should email graduation.reg@coventry.ac.uk and Coventry University London students should email graduation.culc@coventry.ac.uk

If you have permanently withdrawn you can contact your Registry support team and ask to change your withdrawal to temporary. We will then contact you to discuss your options to return to study, whether through online learning or returning to campus when permitted to do so in the future.

A student can temporarily withdraw for a maximum period of 12 consecutive months. This period of temporary withdrawal is included within a student’s maximum period of registration. The earliest point a student can return will depend on their specific course. Some courses may be able to accommodate students in the following semester or block, and some courses may not be able to accommodate them until the following year. You should discuss any request for temporary withdrawal with your course director and registry team. They can help you with the withdrawal form. Temporary withdrawal may have financial and visa implications.

As things currently stand, the government will not consider it a breach of Tier 4 visa requirements where students have chosen to return overseas but wish to continue their current studies online. Tier 4 students are not normally permitted to undertake distance learning, but given the current exceptional circumstances, we will not withdraw sponsorship and you will be able to keep your Tier 4 visa. However, you must remain engaged with your online course, and keep your faculty updated with your plans. You should also regularly check the Student Portal and your University emails for updates, as advice and guidance is inevitably changing as the situation evolves.

If you have immigration queries related to coronavirus, please read the information on the UK Government website. You can also email the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. Please note that your email must be in English.

The Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre can be contacted via telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Yes, if you have stayed in university halls during this time then you can now leave and return home to your parents’ accommodation, following guidance issued by the UK Government.

This ONLY applies if you have been staying in university halls or purpose built student accommodation. Please inform your accommodation provider who will work with you to ensure that you can leave your accommodation safely. Please understand that this will be you leaving this accommodation permanently, so ensure you take all of your belongings.

For any specific queries, the Department for Education has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 from higher education staff, students and parents. Phone: 0800 046 8687; email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk. Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).

International students who have immigration queries related to coronavirus can call 0800 678 1767 (9am to 5pm) or email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. There is also more detailed advice on the government website

Tier 4 students who would normally be subject to police registration, who are extending their leave in the UK during the period in which the Government advises not to leave home unless it is essential to do so, are not required to register with their local police force after leave is granted, or if any other change of circumstances that normally requires police to be notified applies.

Tier 4 students who have work rights and are employed by an NHS trust as a doctor, nurse or paramedic will not be restricted to 20 hours work per week during term time and may work without limit on the number of hours permitted. All other Tier 4 students are limited to the number of hours they can work during term time stated on their visa or BRP.

For more information and further FAQs, please check the student portal.

Links to official information:
Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021