Accessibility statement

Students who are assumed to have left

Geese flying away

Usually undergraduates wanting to leave University will let someone know, but sometimes they will just stop turning up to classes.

Students wishing to leave the University

If a student informs you that they wish to leave, the information we provide on leaving the University offers advice and explains the process.

If a student has indicated that they have withdrawn but did not formally do so by completing a student leavers form, the following procedure applies.

Further information

Who to contact

Students assumed to have left or withdrawn

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.

In these circumstances, the (combined) Board of Studies can recommend to Student Services that the student be assumed to have withdrawn.

Before making this recommendation to Student Services the Department should (at a minimum) have made at least five contact attempts to the student via email correspondence to both the student's home and University email address and by phone where possible. The final email should include a deadline for the student, informing them if no response is received by this date then a recommendation will be made to Student Services for their Assumed Withdrawal. 

Students should be given a fair amount of time to respond to the attempted contact before the next is made, we would usually recommend that this be at least a week but this will depend on the individual case.

If the department does not receive any response to the correspondence outlined above, the Board of Studies can then put forward their recommendation to Student Services that the student’s registration with the University should be terminated. The first step in making this recommendation is to complete the Assumed withdrawal form.

If the student responds and wishes to continue on their programme the Board of Studies will be informed and asked to consider the student’s request (including consideration of whether a recommendation for leave of absence is appropriate). We would recommend that a further deadline is set for the receipt of further paperwork or meaningful engagement.

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

  • Copies of communications sent to the student by the department (eg evidence that satisfactory warning has been issued, or attempts to contact the student have been made)

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.

If a research student fails to submit their thesis by their deadline, they will be failed for non-submission. The assumed withdrawal process cannot be used at this point

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 as to whether it is appropriate to treat the given case as an assumed withdrawal.

If Student Services agree that the case should be treated as an assumed withdrawal they will then process the withdrawal and send a formal withdrawal letter and email to the student. The letter will include the standard right to appeal information. The student's department will also be notified of the withdrawal at this 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.