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Birmingham City University International College

BCUIC Under 18s Policy

Under 18s UK Guardian Requirements and Expectations

Requirements

Applicants under the age of 18 and their parents/legal guardians who are not resident in the UK must appoint a UK-based Guardian.

The guardian should be an adult who the University can contact in case of emergency and can act in loco parentis (in the absence of the parents) and must be:

  • Over 18, can be a relative, and cannot be a BCU student.
  • Must be based in the UK, ideally in Birmingham, until the student is over 18.
  • Must be in the UK legitimately.
  • Must be available to attend enrolment at BCU.
  • Nominated and signed parental consent letter (refer to admissions requirements for details)

The College Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and the University Birmingham City University (BCU) are not able to take on the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians in relation to under 18s, and we do not act in loco parentis in relation to students who are under the age of 18, even when they are provided with our accommodation, during the period until which they legally become adults on their 18th birthday.

Students who are enrolled on a programme at Birmingham City University cannot be appointed legal guardian of a young person under the age of 18 applying to study at the University.

Expectations

The person the parents appoint to be the UK Guardian for the Under 18 on the student’s acceptance form, are expected to undertake the following responsibilities whilst the student remains under 18:

  • Arrange to meet the student at the UK airport at which they arrive at and ensure they arrive safely at their place of accommodation.
  • Ensure the student is settled into the place of accommodation with the daily practical necessities required.
  • If student is not staying in student accommodation, to ensure that the student is living with an adult in private accommodation.
  • It is a requirement for the UK Guardian to accompany the Under 18 to collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and attend on campus enrolment at BCU, the University. The UK Guardian must bring their proof of identity with them in the form of a passport or driving license. This must be the person who has been nominated on the student’s acceptance form.
  • To be based in the UK, ideally in Birmingham, and to keep in contact with the student, preferably on a weekly basis, to ensure their safety and welfare in the UK until the student legally becomes an adult on their 18th birthday.
  • Report to the BCUIC Student Services Manager of any concerns with the student regarding their pastoral and academic welfare at 0121 331 5791 or jessica.wong@bcuic.bcu.ac.uk

BCUIC Under 18’s Policy

Part 1: Admission and registration

Students registering at the College must have attained the age of 17 by the date of registration. The college is unfortunately not able to accept any students under the age of 17.

It is important that individuals under the age of 18 and their parents/guardians understand that the College and University community and campus is predominantly an adult environment. The College and University are not able to take on the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians in relation to under 18s, and we do not act in loco parentis (in absence of the parents) in relation to students who are under the age of 18, even when they are provided with our accommodation.

Regardless of age, we expect all students to assume adult levels of responsibility, and to have the necessary skills to study and live independently, without supervision, and to conduct themselves at all times as responsible members of the community, to comply with the College and University’s rules and to respect the rights of others. Whilst both the College and University provide extensive academic and pastoral support for students, we do not normally provide any special support or supervision for students under the age of 18.

An applicant who is offered a place will, on acceptance of that offer, enter into a legal contract with the College (the ‘Acceptance Form’) even where they are under the age of 18. Individuals under the age of 18 do not require the consent of their parents/guardians to enter into the contract.

Where, however, an applicant is under the age of 18, the College and University will require the applicant’s parent/guardian to sign the declaration within their Acceptance Form as confirmation that they, the parent/guardian, have read and understood the nature of the obligations which the College and University owe to its students under the age of 18 and the extent of the services and facilities which it provides to them. No applicant under the age of 18 will be admitted by the College and University unless and until the declaration has been so signed and returned to us.

The formation of the contract creates a direct legal relationship between the College, University and the student. The College and University will not share information about students with their parents/guardians (even where a student is under the age of 18) without a valid consent from the student or other lawful justification for disclosure. This means that the College and University is not able to give information to parents/guardians about a student’s progress, results or any other personal circumstances in the absence of a valid consent or other justification.

In the UK, an individual may give a valid consent to medical treatment, notwithstanding that they are under the age of 18, where they have sufficient understanding of the nature and implications of the treatment. As such, parental consent to treatment may not be required. Where, however, an individual under the age of 18 refuses treatment or cannot consent to treatment, there may be cases where a parent or someone with parental responsibility may be asked consent to treatment on behalf of the individual, or a Court order may be sought in that regard. Therefore situations may arise where a medical professional will look to someone with parental responsibility to give consent for the individual to receive treatment. Accordingly, it is important that any guardian appointed in the UK for an individual under the age of 18 is empowered by the individual’s parents to be able to give a valid consent to medical treatment in appropriate cases, and that parents are capable of being contacted on a 24 hour basis. In the event of an emergency, the College and University will act on medical advice and in the best interests of the student.

All students (regardless of age) are responsible for their own academic progression and compliance with the College and University’s rules, regulations, policies and procedures from time to time in force and/or updated.

The College and University recommend that individuals under the age of 18 and their parents/ guardians visit the University prior to application and/or acceptance of any offer of a place in order to familiarise themselves with and reassure themselves about the environment in which the individual would be living and studying were s/he to be admitted to their course.

Part 2: The College and University’s legal obligations

Notwithstanding that the College and University does not accept any responsibility to act in loco parentis for students under the age of 18, it is committed to seeking to take reasonable steps to ensure that all students, regardless of age, are provided with a safe and secure environment in which to study, learn and live. It similarly seeks to take reasonable steps to provide a safe and secure environment for its staff and for visitors who access its facilities and services.

The College and University remains mindful of its duty of care to all its students and its other legal obligations including those arising under the Equality Act 2010 and the Data Protection Act 1998, as well as other relevant legislation and regulatory requirements.

In addition, the College and University is committed to ensuring that it has arrangements in place, across the breadth of its activities, which allow it to carry out its functions in a manner which safeguards and promotes the welfare of children and vulnerable adults whether or not they are registered students at the College and University. These arrangements include processes for the safe recruitment and selection by the College and University of individuals to work with children and vulnerable adults.

Part 3: Appointment of a legal guardian for international students

Where the parents/guardians of a student under the age of 18 are not resident in the UK the College and University requires, as a matter of good practice and in order to assist the College and University to seek to safeguard the interests of the student, that a UK-based guardian for the student is appointed and the guardian’s details are provided in writing to the College and University as a condition of admission.

Part 4: Student accommodation

The College and/or University may allocate to students aged 17, accommodation on campus subject to availability and to the College and/or University’s normal arrangements for the provision of accommodation. However, students under the age of 18 are unable to enter into tenancy agreements with the College or University. The College and/or University will usually require a parent or guardian or other responsible person over the age of 18 to act as guarantor and to sign the tenancy agreement.

Part 5: Alcohol and tobacco

Students aged 18 years or over are legally entitled to purchase and to consume alcohol in the bars on the University’s premises as well as in public houses in the locality. It is illegal for alcohol or tobacco to be sold or bought by individuals who are under the age of 18. Any incident involving the illegal purchase, possession or consumption of alcohol or tobacco by under 18s will result in the College and/or University taking appropriate action under its disciplinary regulations.

The College and/or University will take reasonable steps to seek to ensure that the law is not broken in relation to licensed premises under the University’s control but it cannot and does not undertake to supervise students on an individual basis. In order to avoid any confusion in this respect no student under the age of 18 may enter any bars on the University campus.

Part 6: International students

In line with Home Office requirements, parents or guardians must ensure suitable care arrangements are in place for a child under the age of 18 who will study in the UK and be sponsored by the University under its student route licence. These include arrangements for their:

  • travel
  • reception when they arrive in the UK
  • living arrangements while in the UK.

A student aged 17 has the legal right to live independently in the UK and may make their own accommodation arrangements. However, when a 17 year old applies for a visa under student route, they must have their parents’ or legal guardian’s permission both to travel to the UK and to live independently.

A failure to comply with the requirements above could result in the University losing its ability to sponsor students under its student route licence. As such, prior to registering on their course, all students under 18 years of age who are sponsored under the University’s student route licence must provide the University with the information required within the student’s Acceptance Form.

The student must also keep the College and University updated as to any change in their living arrangements in the UK e.g. change of address. If there is a failure to provide the above information, the College and University reserve the right to refuse to register on the student on their course and/or enable them to continue their studies if they are already registered.

Part 7: Holding office

All students, including those under the age of 18, are encouraged to join the Student’s Union and its clubs and societies. However, students under the age of 18 are not able to hold office until after their 18th birthday because some positions would require them to have legal responsibilities. Their participation in some activities may be limited.

Part 8: Enquiries

Any enquiries about the content of this Policy should be addressed in the first instance to the College via email at student.support@bcuic.bcu.ac.uk

This Policy is premised on English law.

References to "parents" and "guardians" in this Policy and the Acceptance Form include references to someone with parental responsibility for the relevant under 18 year old.