Advice and information – International applicants joining us in 2020

Advice and information – international applicants 

Your application is important to us; so is your health, safety and well-being, which is the top priority of the University of Cumbria in these difficult and challenging times.

This section of the website contains specific advice for International students (i.e Non-EU students who are not normally resident in the UK) and who:

  • have already applied to us or are in the process of applying to study with us for September 2020
  • have received a Conditional or Unconditional Offer for September 2020 OR
  • are thinking about applying to study with us for September 2020

This includes Tier 4 Visa students, students on Short-term Study or Visitor Visas and Tier 4 Dependents.

The following FAQs will be updated as guidance and advice changes, so please do keep checking in.

If you do not find the information that you need here, please phone UKCISA’s Student Advice Line on +44 207 788 9214 (1–4pm UK time, Monday–Friday).

If you need to contact the university directly please phone our hotline: +44 (0)333 920 98

 

FAQs for international applicants

Q) My school/ college/ university is closed due to COVID-19. I will be unable to take my exams and my graduation (or completion) date might be postponed. Will I still be able to get a CAS from the University of Cumbria?

A) In order to assign a CAS, we need your final academic transcripts and confirmation of your award. If you are unable to provide the required documents in time to join your chosen intake, we can defer your entry to a later intake. We usually have intakes in January, April / May and September (depending on which course you have chosen and availability), so we can offer you some flexibility. If you cannot provide the required documents in time, we will honour your offer for a future intake.

If you are applying to undertake a Research degree with us we may be able to consider a deferral request. Please email rsa@cumbria.ac.uk to discuss

Q) Is it still safe to come to the UK to study?

A) The health, safety and wellbeing of our students is our top priority. We are accepting applications as usual. To reassure you and your parents, we are adhering strictly to the guidance that has been put in place to help reduce the spread of the virus. Along with all other UK Universities have measures in place to take care of anyone that may be potentially at risk. The UK is proud to have one of the best public healthcare systems in the world.

We will do everything we reasonably can to make sure that students are still able to enrol on our courses (in September) this year. If we need to make any changes to courses, processes, deadlines or entry requirements, we will do so in the best interests of students and their families and will keep everyone informed as quickly and comprehensively as we can.

Q) I am a Tier 4 visa student and my school/ college/ university is closed due to COVID-19. I will be unable to take my exams and my graduation (or completion) date might be postponed. Will I still be able to get a CAS from the University of Cumbria

A) The University of Cumbria is aware that many countries currently have travel restrictions in place and that many schools, colleges, universities and English Language testing centres are closed. We recognise the disruption this is having. We appreciate that each country will have a unique set of circumstances and the situation is fast-moving.

In order to assign a CAS, we need your final academic transcripts and confirmation of your award. We understand that this might be difficult in a number of cases and would like to reassure you that we will do everything we can to be flexible and extend deadlines for receipt of documentation where appropriate.

If you are still unable to provide the required documents in time to join your chosen intake, we can defer your entry to a later intake. We usually have intakes in January, April / May and September (depending on which course you have chosen and availability), so we can offer you some flexibility. If you cannot provide the required documents in time, we will honour your offer for a future intake.

We will be in contact directly with applicants to discuss your specific circumstance and take the appropriate steps to assist you as much as we can.

If you are applying to undertake a Research degree with us we may be able to consider a deferral request. Please email rsa@cumbria.ac.uk to discuss.

Q) What alternative English Language Test can I take if my IELTS centre is closed?

A) If you are studying a degree level undergraduate (Bachelor’s) or postgraduate (Master’s) course, we accept a range of robust English language qualifications equivalent to IELTS. These will be assessed in your application, but include the following:

  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
  • Pearson PTE
  • UK A/AS Level in English language
  • UK GCSE or O Level in English Language (but not iGCSE)
  • University of Cumbria Password English Language Test (UCPELT)
  • Pre-sessional course undertaken at an endorsed partner institution in the UK and overseas e.g. INTO or KAPLAN
  • HKASL A level Use of English
  • HKDSE (Core subject English language) - post 2007
  • HKCEE (syllabus B, prior to 2007)
  • Malaysian SPM 1119 (at least level 6)
  • WAEC (for Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone)
  • Cameroon GCE Ordinary Level
  • Malawi School Certificate of Education
  • South Africa National Senior Certificate

(If your qualification is not shown in the list please contact internationaladmisisons@cumbria.ac.uk to check whether your qualification is one we will accept)

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

However, the Home Office has not changed its English language requirements for visas below degree level. If you are planning to join either an International Foundation or Pre-Sessional English (PSE) language course we will still need you to have a SELT (Secure English Language Test). This may mean delaying or postponing your start date or commencing your PSE online.

Research Students

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 rsa@cumbria.ac.uk to request a deferral of your studies, or - email international@cumbria.ac.uk to discuss whether a University of Cumbria Password English Language Test (“UCPELT”) is available to you.

Q). How can I book onto a University of Cumbria Password English Language Test (UCPELT)?

These are secure tests, which are all run and invigilated online.

Q) The visa application centres in my country are closed and I haven’t got my visa yet. How will this affect me being able to enrol on my Pre-Sessional English course or main programme in September 2020?

If you have your academic results already but are unable to apply for your visa to come to the UK, the University of Cumbria International Admissions team will aim to be as flexible as possible and will look at your individual circumstances.

Similarly, if you are unable to meet the conditions of your offer letter to obtain your CAS for the September 2020 intake, we will again aim to be as flexible as possible and will look at your individual circumstances.

If you are planning to join either an International Foundation or Pre-Sessional English (PSE) language course we will still need you to have a SELT (Secure English Language Test). This may mean commencing your PSE online or delaying or postponing your start date.

If for any reason you are not able to enrol in September 2020, we will honour your offer, subject to the same conditions, for the next available intake.

Please email internationaladmissions@cumbria.ac.uk or international@cumbria.ac.uk to contact us.

If you are a research applicant, please email: rsa@cumbria.ac.uk

Q) I am an EU/EEA student and my school/ college/ university is closed due to COVID-19. I will be unable to take my exams and my graduation (or completion) date might be postponed. Will I still be able to start with the University of Cumbria before 31st December 2020?

A) The University of Cumbria is aware that many European countries currently have travel restrictions in place and that many schools, colleges, universities and English Language testing centres are closed. We recognise the disruption this is having. We appreciate that each country will have a unique set of circumstances and the situation is fast-moving.

If you are holding a Conditional Offer from us and it will be difficult to meet the conditions of your offer, please do contact us at International@cumbria.ac.uk to let us know your individual circumstances. We would like to reassure you that we will do everything we can to be flexible and extend deadlines for receipt of documentation where appropriate.

As the situation changes, we will be in contact directly with applicants to discuss your specific circumstances and take the appropriate steps to assist you as much as we can.

If you are applying to undertake a Research degree with us we may be able to consider a deferral request. Please email rsa@cumbria.ac.uk to discuss.

Will the University extend the deadline for meeting entry requirements to students who cannot get a visa?

A) We will do everything we can to help students enrol in the nearest intake without jeopardising their academic experience. We will be as flexible as possible, including supporting visa applications until the latest viable date in accordance with Home Office requirements.

For students who hold an offer to join us in September 2020 from China, the last date we will issue a CAS letter is Thursday 28th August. After this date, we will continue to support students as much as possible on a case-by-case basis in accordance with Home Office requirements.

If a Super Priority Visa service is available to you, we advise you choose this. Check the services available as well as opening times, address and contact details for UK visa application centres near you. Please note that choosing a priority visa service will be at your own cost.

Q: Will I be able to start at the University of Cumbria in September 2020?

A) Your application is important to us and we encourage you to apply as planned.

At the moment the next academic year is planned to start in September 2020 as normal and we’d like to reassure you that whatever is decided we will adapt our approach in line with this. We are closely monitoring what schools, universities and awarding bodies around the world put in place for students who have not yet completed their qualifications.

If you already hold an offer or if we make you an offer, we'll contact you about the next steps.

If you are an international student currently affected by travel restrictions in your home country, we still encourage you to apply. This situation is fast-moving and is likely to change in the coming months.

We will continue to update these FAQs regularly, and if anything does change then we will be sure to inform you.

Links to official and useful information:

UKCISA latest guidance and information from the UK Council for International Students Association

Home Office latest immigration guidance · IELTS – latest updates on IELTS Test Centre closures and future testing dates

IELTS latest updates on IELTS Test Centre closures and future testing dates

Public Health England latest information and advice from the UK government

Foreign and Commonwealth Office foreign travel advice

World Health Organization information and guidance from WHO

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