Student Engagement and Attendance FAQs

SEA has been introduced to make it easier to identify and support you if you experience difficulties that affect your studies. The aim is to improve the engagement of all students, as attendance can be a significant factor of success. Lectures, seminars and workshops provide you with an opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully complete your course.

You need to use you ID card to swipe in when you attend timetabled classes (lectures, seminars, workshops, labs etc).

If you miss classes over an extended period of time, your Faculty Registry and Academic Course Team will be alerted and you will be contacted if there is a genuine concern. This will ensure we can take a proactive approach to support you. Overall, it will allow us to identify if you are at risk of withdrawing from your course. We will be able to make early interventions to provide support and help you to re-engage with your studies. 

How engaged a student is with their studies provides us with a good indication of those individuals who are at risk of withdrawing or not successfully completing their course. Early intervention plays a crucial part in re-engaging students. Our goal is to ensure students are supported, excited about their studies and can see how they can achieve success.

Attendance can be a significant factor of success.  A decrease in levels of engagement and attendance can provide an early warning of problems.

Figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency revealed that over 32,000 students across the UK dropped out of university after a year of study in 2012/13. Student Engagement and Attendance (SEA) and the embedded support systems are part of our progressive strategy to increase retention, progression and course completion at Westminster.

Remember you only need to swipe in at the beginning of your class - you don’t need to swipe out when you leave. You need to swipe in no earlier than 15 minutes before your class starts and no later than 30 minutes after the start.

If you have two classes back to back in the same room, for example a lecture followed by a seminar, you will need to swipe in at the start of each event in order to have your attendance recorded for each event.

Swiping in and then leaving the class is deemed as not attending.

You will need one of the new contactless ID cards to be able to register your attendance. If you’re not sure whether you have a new card, check the back – if it has the contactless logo on the back then there’s nothing you need to do.

If you need a card visit your Registry Office during their opening hours – they’ll issue you a new contactless card on the spot.

You should try to keep your ID card with you at all times when you are in the University, but if you do forget to bring it with you record this as an absence on SEA. This means the timetabled event will still show as an absence but the reason for no recorded attendance will be displayed.

To add an absence, log in to SEA, then click on the button above your calendar. Enter the relevant start and end dates, then choose either Student Reported Absence or Lost/Forgotten ID Card from the Type dropdown. You can add a note in the comments field to provide some more details, then press Save. This will then create an absence event on your calendar which staff will be able to see when reviewing your engagement record.

If you forget your ID card, the impact on your attendance record will be minimal as this will only affect one day of events.

If you are unable to attend a class, due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, you should log your absence and the reason for this against the scheduled class on SEA.  It is important that you do this if possible so we can see the reasons for your absence and can view the details as we monitor your engagement. If you forget your ID card but have attended you will also need to log this as an absence to record the reason you were unable to swipe in.

To add an absence, log in to SEA, then click on the button above your calendar. Enter the relevant start and end dates, then choose either Student Reported Absence or Lost/Forgotten ID Card from the Type dropdown. You can add a note in the comments field to provide some more details, then press Save. This will then create an absence event on your calendar which staff will be able to see when reviewing your engagement record

If you are going to be away for a longer period of time (e.g. due to a bereavement, or more serious medical reasons) you should notify your Course Leader and/or Personal Tutor and your Faculty Registry. If your illness or circumstances impact on your assessments you must also complete the mitigating circumstances process.

If your ID card isn't working

If your card stops working or you have a problem with your new contactless ID card, please go to your Faculty Registry Office at the earliest opportunity to obtain a replacement card and to advise of any classes this has affected. Your record will be updated manually where necessary.

Where an ID card is not working at a time when the Registry Office is closed, please email to let them know and visit the Registry as soon after the event as you can to obtain a replacement card.

If one of the readers is not working

If a reader does not appear to be registering cards when you are touching in, please advise the academic member of staff leading the class of this. Please then report this via the Service Desk (FixIT) using the phone in the room. Your attendance record will not be affected so you don’t need to worry.

Where a room has more than one reader, still report any issues but use another reader in the room to record your attendance.

If you hold your mobile phone in the same hand as your ID card while trying to swipe in this will mean your card won’t work. 

One of the conditions of your Tier 4 visa is that you are in regular, full-time attendance on your course. If you do not attend, the Tier 4 team will contact you to find out why and offer support. We will contact you by email and/or telephone and may ask you to come in for an attendance review meeting.

If you continue to miss classes and have not responded to any of our emails or phone calls, then the University will inform you that we will withdraw our sponsorship and the UK Visas and Immigration department will cancel your visa. This means that you would be withdrawn from your course and have to leave the UK.

To safeguard your visa, make sure you attend all your scheduled lectures and classes and make sure to swipe at the start of each class. If you are going to be absent for more than one day, then please contact the Tier 4 team at [email protected] to let us know why. 

You can add your own absence into SEA, eg if you have forgotten your ID card and been unable to swipe in. So we can see the reasons for your absence more clearly, please make sure you record them in SEA. This way, we can view the details as we monitor your attendance for UKVI purposes. If we have any queries about your absence then we’ll be in contact with you.  

To add an absence, log in to SEA, then click on the button above your calendar. Enter the relevant start and end dates, then choose either Student Reported Absence or Lost/Forgotten ID Card from the Type dropdown. You can add a note in the comments field to provide some more details, then press Save. This will then create an absence event on your calendar which staff will be able to see when reviewing your engagement record

To access the system please go to the Student Engagement and Attendance webpage.

You can add your own absence into SEA, eg if you have forgotten your ID card and been unable to swipe in. So we can see the reasons for your absence more clearly, please make sure you record them in SEA. This way, we can view the details as we monitor your attendance. If we have any queries about your absence then we’ll be in contact with you.  

From a few weeks into semester 2, you will be able to review your own attendance and engagement activity. If you believe there is a mismatch between the teaching sessions have participated in during semester 2 and what is showing on your record, you should contact your Faculty Registry as soon as possible, outlining where you believe there are discrepancies, so that this can be investigated.

Once a semester has finished records for that semester can no longer be altered.

If you have missed a number of scheduled classes your Faculty Registry will contact you to check how you are and if there are any areas which you might need support with. They will ask you to contact them if you would like support so that they can signpost you to the right place or put the right person in contact with you. For example you might need a chat with your Personal Tutor, some financial advice or want to take up some of the services offered by the Students' Union..

If you continue to miss classes your attendance record will be reviewed with your Course Leader, or member of your Course Team, and you will be contacted again.

If you are a student with a Tier 4 visa, the Tier 4 team will contact you if you miss classes, you can find more information about this above, on this page.