Accessibility statement

Withdrawing from a programme

There may be occasions where students leave the university. This may be a decision the student has made, however there are other circumstances where the university takes steps to withdraw a student.

Request to withdraw

Request to withdraw

Withdrawal is the term we use where students decide to permanently leave the university prior to completion of the award for which they are registered, for either personal or academic reasons.

Please refer students wishing to withdraw to the student-facing web page for leaving the University where they will find relevant information and be signposted to their e:vision account to begin the process.

Leaving the University is an important decision so we want to make sure that students are aware of all the options available and that they have access to the right advice and support.

Withdrawal process:

  1. A student must complete an online Request to Withdraw task on e:Vision
  2. A Trained Leaver Contact (TLC) will then contact them within a couple of working days who will offer an appointment to discuss the withdrawal and ensure the student is aware of all the options open to them, the support available and the implications of withdrawing.
  3. If after their conversation with a Trained Leaver Contact the student still wishes to withdraw, they will be asked to finalise their withdrawal on e:vision.
  4. The Trained Leaver Contact may be asked to confirm the student's date of withdrawal. The date of withdrawal entered by the student must be their last day of active engagement, such as:
    1. The date of the last supervision, seminar or lecture they attended.
    2. If they are on a distance learning programme this is then their last date of active study.
    3. If a student is on a Leave of Absence, their last date of engagement is the start of the Leave of Absence period.

The last date of engagement must be accurate as it will have implications for the student’s loan entitlement and repayment as well as their tuition fee calculation.

What do Trained Leaver contacts (TLC) do?

A Trained Leaver contact (TLC) is a staff member within a school/department that is trained in the Withdrawal process and can provide guidance for students on the process and implications of withdrawing.

This role is an important one and ensures that students are aware of all the options available to them and that they have access to the right advice and support.

TLCs are responsible for contacting the student who has made a withdrawal request and update the e:Vision task with any progress made. If the student accepts the TLC appointment the TLC is there to listen, provide guidance or signpost where appropriate.

How do I become a TLC?

If your school/department does not currently have a TLC and you would like a staff member to take on this role, email  

It is important that you keep your list up to date and remove contacts should they leave to avoid withdrawal requests being sent to the wrong staff members.

Assumed withdrawal

Assumed withdrawal

If a student at the University of York fails to engage or disengages with study, the department or the University may exercise their right to terminate the student’s registration on the basis of an ‘assumed withdrawal’.  Not completing the required enrolment task by the specified deadline, not providing valid ID when requested, not attending classes, or not responding to communications from the department is likely to indicate that a student is no longer interested in pursuing their study.  Likewise, an informal indication that a student is considering withdrawing, followed by a lack of communication is likely to indicate that the student no longer wishes to be registered.

Where a department suspects that a student no longer wishes to pursue study, or where they are no longer engaging in study as expected, they must attempt to contact the student. A minimum of five attempts should be made to contact the student, the final attempt being a formal letter sent to the home and contact addresses. Students should be given a fair amount of time to respond to each contact before the next is made and this should be at least a week.

The department should set out an expectation that the student will reply and the desire that the student should resume appropriate engagement in their study.   Contact should be made in each the following ways:

  • Email correspondence to home and York email addresses

  • Making phone calls to the home and mobile phone numbers on the student records system (times and dates should be recorded in an email to the student’s University email account, as should details of any responses)

The communications sent should indicate the student’s options of Leave of Absence and Formal Withdrawal, as well as return to study.

If no reply is received, or the student fails to re-engage, the same communications should be duplicated by all methods at least two weeks, and no more than one month after the initial communications.  

If the department does not receive any response to the correspondence outlined above within two weeks, the Board of Studies can then put forward their recommendation to Student Services that the student’s registration with the University should be terminated using the Assumed Withdrawal Form.

This form can also be used if a student has indicated that they have withdrawn but have not formally done so by completing a withdrawal form.

After receiving the Assumed Withdrawal form, Student Services will consider the information and check for engagement at other levels across the University.  A decision will then be made by the Student Records Manager as to whether it is appropriate to treat the given case as an assumed withdrawal. If an assumed withdrawal is justified by the circumstances, Student Services will withdraw the student from their programme of study.  Their date of withdrawal will be recorded as their last date of attendance for fees purposes. The student will be informed of their right of appeal.

In the event that a student responds within 14 days indicating an intent to continue study, the department will be informed, and will be asked to meet with the student to discuss the student’s engagement, including the academic risks of return without leave of absence.  The risk of academic failure alone will not be grounds to continue with assumed withdrawal where a student expresses an intention to continue with study at any point.

For students on a ‘York Online’ programme, not enrolling for modules for three consecutive enrolment periods will result in automatic withdrawal from the programme, without the formal contact points listed above being required.

If a student fails to complete their University enrolment, provide ID or present documents for verification as required, they will automatically be withdrawn from their programme following three reminders from Student Services

Where a student fails to demonstrate that they have leave to remain in the UK (for example, where a Student Visa has been curtailed due to non-compliance with visa obligations, or has expired without evidence of a new application), the assumed withdrawal will be enforced regardless of a student’s declaration of their desire to continue study.

Please note that if a student’s expected date of completion of the programme has elapsed, the programme is deemed to have been completed, and the student cannot be withdrawn.  Students who do not complete work outstanding at the end of the programme cannot be withdrawn, and should be failed for non-completion. The assumed withdrawal process cannot be used at this point.

Students will not normally be readmitted to the same programme following an assumed withdrawal except where an appeal against the withdrawal is successful.  Students on York Online programmes will require permission from the relevant Board of Studies to return. This permission will only be granted where the time remaining on the student’s potential enrolment can reasonably be expected to allow them to complete the intended award.



If a student is academically or professionally unsatisfactory the Board of Studies can recommend that the student’s registration on their programme is ended before its normal end date.

A student might be academically unsatisfactory for reasons such as poor attendance (without a good reason), or through having failed so much of the programme that it is no longer possible to graduate, or in relation to academic misconduct or where deemed unfit to practice (eg Health Sciences, Social Policy and Education).

Any postgraduate research student who has not submitted their required dissertation or thesis will be automatically contacted by Student Services and terminated, unless they have grounds for an Extension of Submission Deadline.

Programme termination:

All programme termination cases for students who are academically unsatisfactory or unfit to practise go to a full hearing of Special Cases, whether or not the student appeals. Special Cases will request supporting documentation from the Board of Studies and invite the student and the department representatives to the hearing.

The student will receive a letter informing them of the hearing outcome (copied to the Department) and if the student’s registration is terminated, the department will receive a termination email confirmation.

Before the form is submitted please ensure that the following information is included:

For Termination also include:

  • Details of marks achieved by the student
  • If case of academic misconduct, include report and minutes of investigating subcommittee

Implications of withdrawal

Implications of withdrawal


Students may still be charged for programme fees if we do not receive notification of withdrawal 

Students are liable to pay fees up to the Friday of the last week of attendance. When Student Services has received notification of the withdrawal, they will contact the Fees Office. Once the student has officially withdrawn, their fees will be recalculated and they will be invoiced for any outstanding tuition fees, or refunded any surplus fees paid to them, at their permanent home address.

For more information see the tuition fees page in student finance.

Student Visas

UK Visas and Immigration – sponsorship compliance:

Withdrawals must be notified to UKVI within 10 days of the University being notified of the student’s decision to withdraw. Academic Departments must allow time for processing to be undertaken on the SITS Student Record system within this 10 day reporting window. All decisions should therefore be communicated to Student Services as soon as they are known.

  • For more information please see the immigration website


Please ensure that it is stated on if the student receives funding from an external source: research council studentships, foreign loans, sponsors, scholarships, charities, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to understand how the withdrawal will affect the funding received from the granting agency. For example, if a student has been given funds for maintenance, they can be liable to repay these on a pro-rata basis.

US loans

Any American student with loans is strongly advised to contact the Student Financial Support Office for advice before considering withdrawal. Some of the loan money paid to the student may be required to be repaid to the University upon withdrawal. US Loan web pages show details of the calculation and failure to immediately repay this money is a Federal Offence.


Under the Student Terms and Conditions of Residence, students may terminate their accommodation agreement early if they withdraw from the University. 
They will need to give eight weeks' notice to Accommodation Services. Find out more about requesting to vacate.

Who to contact

Special Cases Committee (Assumed Withdrawal and Termination of Enrolment cases)
  • Market Square
    Tel: 01904 324140
  • Office hours: Undergraduate Term Time 9am - 5pm (Monday to Friday);                       
  • All other times 10am - 4pm (Monday to Friday)