Changes in student status may include suspension of status and withdrawal, or transfer to a different course or college. This page explains what each of these means for you as an undergraduate student at Oxford.
Suspension of status
Suspension of status within the University ‘stops the clock’ for all elements of your degree, including residence, fees and terms for which a particular status may be held.
Applications for suspension of status should be discussed with your college and should take account of the time limits provided within the regulations which state that an undergraduate student on a three-year course must normally be examined within four years; a student on a four-year course must normally be examined within five years.
During suspension you will not have formal teaching from the University or your college, including tutorials, lectures, seminars, classes and labs. Some college tutors may offer adhoc advice on substantive academic matters at their own discretion.
If you are beginning a period of suspension, you are not required to complete University registration. When you return from a period of suspension, you will need to complete registration again.
Access to facilities and services
If you suspend status you can retain your University card and Single Sign On (SSO) access to online resources, including email, and to University libraries, during the period of suspension. If your University card expires while you are on a period of suspension, you should contact your college to request a new card, which will be issued to last until your new expected completion date.
If you are suspended due to non-payment of fees your access to University facilities and services will be withdrawn. You are required to return your University card directly to your college. The University reserves the right to withdraw access to facilities and services in certain other appropriate circumstances for students suspending status.
Disability Advisory Service
If you have a disability advisor at the Disability Advisory Service, you are welcome to remain in contact with them. However the services accessed through the Disabled Students Allowance will not be available to you until you return to formal studies. This includes services such as specialist SpLD tuition, specialist mentoring, assistive technology training, proof-reading and library assistance. Disability advisors will be very happy to help you make plans to reinstate and will be able to recommended support on your return to study.
You are eligible to use the Counselling Service during the period of your suspension and will be offered the same level of therapeutic support as other students. The Counselling Service offers brief and focussed therapeutic interventions. This can be negotiated with the clinician you are working with to work out how best the service can support you. If you need longer or more specialised therapeutic treatment to help you address your psychological difficulties then you will need to be referred to the appropriate NHS medical, psychological or psychiatric services.
If you are already engaged with the Counselling Service when you suspend you can continue with their counselling until a mutually agreed end date. If you are living away from Oxford you can arrange to have on-line counselling support with the Service.
The Counselling Service can advise you at the time you are thinking about suspending to work out how you can be supported over the period of suspension. This can help you address such issues as finding appropriate therapeutic or medical support back in your home location. It may also be helpful for you to access or contact the service before you return to your studies to help you re-engage with your academic work and college life.
Council Tax exemption
If you remain registered on your course because you intend to return to your studies, you will still be treated as exempt for Council Tax purposes by Oxford City Council. However, other local authorities may consider being suspended means a student does not meet the definition of a full-time student, and therefore you are liable to pay Council Tax. Some authorities will consider the reasons for suspension when deciding liability to pay. If you need further advice please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your student visa
A change in student status can have an impact on your visa and may also affect the visas of any dependants you have in the UK and consequently their eligibility to work here. The Tier 4 compliance office will contact you to discuss the potential impact on your visa. You can also seek their advice before suspending if you wish.
If you transferred course this can have an impact on your Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance if you had to obtain one for your original course. If you suspended studies and your visa has been cancelled you will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate before making a new visa application. You should seek the advice of Tier4compliance@admin.ox.ac.uk if you are unsure.
Withdrawal after your first examination paper/assessment submission requires the agreement of your college and the approval of the Proctors.