Attendance Monitoring Procedure at UNM
This procedure is part of the University of Nottingham Malaysia’s Supplementary Policy on Attendance and Engagement, which should be read in conjunction with this document. This procedure is applicable to study within the 2019/20 academic session and beyond. Decisions regarding non-attendance are made by Schools/Departments.
1. Parameters of the procedure
This procedure should only be used to address a student’s absence from compulsory teaching activity such as classes, and supervision meetings or other activity that are required by the School or the University for the pursuit of their studies no covered under other procedures.
Absence Requests outlined in this procedure should not be used as a substitute for Extenuating Circumstances (EC) claims or to cover parameters under the EC procedure: this includes absence from an examination/assessment or non-submission of coursework and requests for extensions to deadlines for submission of written assignments.
However, approved EC claims and evidence may be used in place of an absence request. Therefore, there would be no need to file an absence request if an approved EC claim evidence already covers the period of absence.
- Attendance monitoring for UG/PGT full time students should begin at start of Week 5 (after the Add/Drop period), and subsequent monitoring should be done at least every week unless where otherwise stated under this procedure.
- Attendance monitoring may be conducted every 2 weeks for students placed on 2nd and 3rd level of Section 7 of this procedure. This is to give time for remedial actions from the Attendance Intervention Meeting (AIM) to take effect.
- For PGT block modules, the monitoring will begin when the class begin and school will check the percentage of attendance of student on 3rd day of classes. The monitoring for block modules will be daily until the last day of classes.
- Student(s) should submit request seeking authorized absence at least 2 days before the affected activity to their faculty or approver. This is to give time for consideration of the request.
- A student whose absence is unplanned should inform their school no more than 2 days after the activity has occurred.
- Schools shall inform the student in writing (e.g. email) within 2 working days of the AIM, along with a copy of the record form, the formal decision of the school.
3. Attendance Intervention Meeting
- AIM’s at the second level (see section 7) should be conducted by the Personal Tutor, and in their absence the Senior Tutor.
- Both the Personal Tutor and the Head of School (see section 7) should conduct AIM’s at the third level jointly.
- Any number of AIM’s can be held for a student by their school as needed to ascertain the reason for non-engagement and document the steps taken by student to improve their attendance.
- The Personal Tutor, Senior Tutor, Head of School may, to better facilitate this process, seek advice, information (consistent with University policies) and guidance from the Head of Student Registry, relevant course (module) convener(s), including advice on referrals to University services.
- The AIM may take the form of a face-to-face meeting, but may be done by video chat/conference (e.g. Skype), or voice call only in circumstances where a face-to-face is not possible.
- School/Faculty may assume no satisfactory explanation or good cause is available from the student if they do not show up for the AIM.
- A formal record (the AIM record form) of proceedings at the AIM must be kept. The original (paper) copy should be stored at least until the end of the academic year. The purpose of the records is to document decisions, to summarise any discussion relevant to those decisions (where this is required to give a context or rationale for the decision, or to establish precedents), and to capture for further consideration any areas of discussion or requirements for future action.
- The AIM record form should be completed, and signed by all relevant parties at the AIM. It should state clearly the decision reached by the school.
- After the meeting, the AIM record (including all outcomes) should be sent immediately to the relevant faculty office (e.g. Attendance team/Case Handler).
- School should inform the student formally on the outcome of an AIM within the relevant timelines set out in this procedure.
- A student who knows that they will be absent from the University for any period of time should make this known to the Faculty Office by completing and submitting the completed Absence Request form.
4. Absence Request
- Student must complete all relevant sections of the absence request form, obtain the relevant approvals and evidence before submission.
- The completed and signed absence request form should be submitted online. Information regarding how to submit a claim form can be found on the university web pages or at faculty office.
- Absence for less than a week, and where no more than two courses (modules) is affected, will require approval from the course (module) convener(s).
- Absence for more than a week, and where more than two courses (modules) is affected, will require approval from the Head of School (Home School) only. In the case where responsibility is shared between Schools, the Head of School (Home School) should ensure that any partner Schools are adequately informed and are involved in the decision process.
- Where absence is for a period of more than two weeks (or any period considered significant by the School) the course of action should be in line with section 2 (i.e. 2.1.4 and 2.1.6) of the regulations governing attendance.
- All requests submitted must be accompanied by relevant documentary evidence (see Section 5), and approvals (see section 4.3 or 4.4 as applicable) or will not be considered valid by the faculty office.
- Where the request is for an unplanned absence student should explain in the form in as much detail as possible, including with evidence, why a request could not be submitted prior to the affected activity.
- Approved absence requests will be administered by the faculty office.
- Faculty attendance teams or attendance case handler(s) will make necessary changes in the attendance register based on the approved absence request and keep a record of the approved request in the student(s) file.
5. Acceptable Circumstances and Evidence
Evidence presented for both planned and unplanned absences must meet be acceptable and meet the standards set under the guidance on Acceptable Circumstances and Evidence in the university EC procedure.
- Schools/Departments should arrange for an attendance case handler to process absence requests and inform the student of the outcome of AIM.
- Attendance case handlers should ensure that the schools decision for Absence Requests and Attendance Intervention Meetings are duly actioned.
- Any changes required to a students attendance record in the attendance register as a result of an authorized absence requests or attendance intervention meeting should be done promptly and noted in the student(s) file.
- Student(s) whose attendance rate on a course is under 80% but above 75%, and their Average Attendance Rate is above 80% are placed on the first level for attendance monitoring.
7. Attendance Monitoring
- Student(s) placed on this level may be sent a reminder about maintaining adequate attendance and engagement during their study.
- Student(s) that finds issue with their Attendance Rate on a course should first raise this directly with the course (module) convener.
- Course (module) convener are required to assess the validity of any concerns raised by a student about their Attendance Rate on a course.
- Changes to a student’s attendance rate on a course may be made by the Course (Module) convener in the attendance register, as appropriate and in line with the relevant policies on attendance. The student and faculty office admin or case handlers should be informed accordingly of these changes and vice versa if Case Handlers are directed to make changes.
- Student(s) whose course attendance rate is under 80% but above 75% and their Average Attendance Rate is below 80% are placed on the second level for attendance monitoring.
- Student(s) whose attendance rate is below 75% on any course(s) may also be placed on the second level for attendance monitoring.
- School/Department may issue a first warning, usually in the form of a written warning (via email or letter) to students placed on this level that do not provide a satisfactory explanation for absence(s). Warning should state the course of action (see Attendance Regulations 2.18) that will occur if the situation does not improve sufficiently and non-engagement continues.
- School/Department will conduct an Attendance Intervention Meeting (AIM) for student(s) placed on the second level for attendance monitoring.
- School may ask the course (module) convenor(s) to report on whether the warning has the desired effect. This may impact schools decision in the next round of monitoring to escalate the situation to the third level.
- Students on the second level for attendance monitoring, that the school has determined continue to show no improvement in attendance and/or engagement should be placed on the third level for attendance monitoring.
- School may issue a second warning that serves as a reminder of the first warning if the student’s situation improves but not sufficiently enough to be taken off this level. The warning may state the school has determined the student’s engagement has improved but not sufficiently enough to improve their attendance record. In addition, it will state that because of this, the student will continue to remain at this level for observation and the likely penalty to follow if the student does continue to attend all required activities and if there is failure to engage in the future.
- School will conduct an AIM for students placed on the third level for attendance monitoring.
- The Head of School and Personal Tutor should be present at AIM’s held for students on this level.
- The Head of School and Personal Tutor should ascertain the extent of non-engagement by contacting all relevant course (module) convenors before the AIM is held with the student.
- Where the School does not receive a satisfactory explanation for absence, or student does not attend the AIM, the school/department should proceed to reaching a decision consistent with the course of action outlined in section 2 of the regulations governing attendance and in the written warning issued to the student under section 7.7 of the procedure.
- In making the decision, the School should take into account all the circumstances of the individual, if previous warning has the desired effect, if there is still time or opportunity to implement any interventions that may significantly improve their attendance, and the extent of non-engagement (see 7.14 above).
- If feedback in section 7.14 or reports reaching the School indicate that a student is not attending any courses (modules), supervisions or other required activities and the student provides no explanation for this non-attendance at the AIM, the matter should be referred to the Student Register. The school should recommend the student be deemed to have withdrawn and that their registration be discontinued.
- If the student did not attend the AIM, has zero attendance (or attendance considered very poor by the school) and the School has no knowledge at all as to the student's whereabouts the School should begin the Emergency Contact Protocol and contact the Student Registry.
7. Where the student provides a satisfactory explanation for absence on one or more modules but not all courses (modules) under consideration for non-attendance then the:
- School should consider the significance of its impact on the student’s attendance record and if further AIMs are needed to monitor progress.
- School should still proceed to reaching a decision (see 7.15 above) in respect to all other courses (modules) student provides no explanation for absence.
- If non-engagement continues, and the decision of the school (see section 7.15 of this policy) at the third Level is that the students satisfies the conditions outlined in 2.1.4, 2.1.6 (including 2.1.8b) and 2.3 of the Regulations Governing Attendance and Engagement the decision should be communicated to the Student Registry Office promptly.