Otago Polytechnic

International Learner Attainment and Attendance SOP

To be read in conjunction with

International Learner Attainment and Attendance Policy

Approval Date
1 June 2020
Approved By
Chief Executive
Next Review
30 November 2022
Deputy Chief Executive: Learning & Teaching
Baldrige Criteria
Customer focus

Under the Education (Pastoral Care of International Learners) Code of Practice 2016, (including Amendments 2019), Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) must have processes in place to ensure that all international learners (hereinafter called the “learner”) are maintaining their programme requirements and to follow up in the event that a learner ceases attendance before programme completion.

Immigration New Zealand requires all learners with a student visa to be bona fide learners and behave in a manner appropriate to genuine learners.

Immigration New Zealand implemented key changes in July 2011 requiring learners to attend their courses at all times in line with the attendance requirement outlined in clause 1 below unless they have genuine reasons for their absence.


Delegation of Procedures

  • Te Kaihāpai
  • Heads of College/Department (HoC/Programme Heads) (or delegate)
  • International Learner Advisor/s

In relation to policy International Learner Attainment and Attendance the following procedures should be followed.

Learner and Academic Responsibilities for Unsatisfactory Progress

  1. If a learner's attendance or attainment level is not satisfactory, the HoC/Programme Head (or delegate) must have a meeting with the learner.
  2. Depending on the circumstances, a first written notification letter is issued reminding the learner of their obligations with the Polytechnic (Appendix A).
  3. If after fourteen (14) working days the learner’s attendance is still below the acceptable level, a second letter of notification (Appendix B) is activated requesting the learner meet with the Te Kaihāpai, Head of College/Department or delegate and the International Learner Advisor, within a short period of time, usually five (5) working days.
  4. At this point, either the learner enters into a signed agreement (Appendix C), or the Te Kaihāpai may decide to recommend that the College/Department commence proceedings to terminate the learner’s enrolment. This would usually be the case if the learner does not attend the requested meeting.
  5. Scanned copies of letters are required to be attached to the learner notes in the Learner Management System (SMS).
  6. If the learner does not comply with the signed agreement, there will be a final meeting to investigate the situation before instigating the termination of the learner’s enrolment.
  7. Colleges/Departments and their respective programmes are required to be proactive at the first signs of poor attendance, assignments not handed in on time, or a poor level of attainment becomes evident. A College/Department academic staff member responsible or programme equivalent for the international learner and/or professional staff from appropriate support services may be consulted and academic staff must make every effort to resolve the situation and ensure the necessary support is provided.
  1. Colleges/Departments must advise the International Learner Advisor of any situation affecting a learner’s attendance and/or attainment. The International Learner Advisor will communicate with the learner.
  2. A regular reporting process to the International Learner Advisor should be implemented until the pattern or situation is resolved.
  3. Where a learner with a history of poor attendance or attainment returns to study after a semester break or beginning of an academic year, it is recommended the learner enters into a signed agreement prior to class commencement. (Appendix C )
  4. Staff working with learners are required to be proactive and work together to ensure they support and assist with these issues rather than have enrolments terminated.


Appendix A – sample first notification letter








Dear [learner name]

Learner Attainment and Attendance

I have been informed by [staff member] that you have [not been attending class and/or achieving assessment requirements] as outlined in the enrolment requirements of your programme. You are aware that a condition of your Visa to study at Otago Polytechnic Limited is that you must meet the attendance and assessment requirements of your programme.

This is your first notification letter. A copy of this letter is being sent to your parents (if applicable) and to   the International Learner Advisor. Please note that we view this situation very seriously. Your attendance/attainment will continue to be monitored closely.

If you are unsure of the attendance and attainment requirements of your programme, please refer to the programme information or discuss with me.

If, after fourteen (14) working days, your attendance/attainment is still below the acceptable level you will receive a second and final notification letter from the Head of College/Programme Head/Department requiring you to attend a formal meeting with the Te Kaihāpai, the Head of College/Department, and the International Learner Advisor. If such a meeting is required it will be decided at this meeting if you can continue your studies at Otago Polytechnic Limited, or you may be asked to leave. If you are asked to leave, Immigration New Zealand will be advised, and this may result in your learner visa being revoked.

You have the right to have an advocate/support person at this meeting, and to call on others to give evidence in support of your situation.

If you wish to discuss this letter with the International Learner Advisor, please email […………………………………………….] or

phone […................................... ].


Yours sincerely,



Head of College/Programme Head/Department




Appendix B - sample second notification letter








Dear [learner name]

Second and Final Notification Letter – Learner Attainment and Attendance

We have been informed that you have not been attending classes and/or achieving the assessment requirements of your programme as required.

Please find attached a copy of the first notification letter already sent to you outlining our position with regard to your non-attendance and/or attainment.

This is the second and final notification letter and a copy is being sent to your parents (if applicable), the International Learner Advisor and the programme leader.

You are required to come to a meeting at [time and place] on [date] to meet with the Te Kaihāpai, the Head of College/Department (or delegate), and the International Learner Advisor to discuss the situation. At this meeting, depending on your circumstances, you may enter into a signed agreement to adhere to your programme requirements or proceedings may start to terminate your enrolment at Otago Polytechnic Limited.

You have a right to have an advocate/support person at this meeting, and to call on others to give evidence in support of your situation.

If we have not heard from you by [date] procedures will commence for your withdrawal from Otago Polytechnic Limited and your enrolment terminated. Immigration New Zealand will then be advised of your termination and this may result in your learner visa being revoked.


Yours sincerely,



Head of College/Programme Head




Appendix C - sample learner agreement




I, [learner name] understand and accept that because of my poor attendance and/or unacceptable level of attainment, my continued enrolment in the [name of programme] is dependent on my meeting the following criteria:

 1. I must attend 100% of classes and tutorials for which I am enrolled. A record will be kept of my attendance.

 2. If I cannot attend a class I will inform the School Administrator [name of administrator] by email at xxxxxxx@op.ac.nz or by phone

 3. A medical certificate, or letter from other health professional may be requested if the reason for not attending is due to

 4. [a or b]

4a. If I miss classes but have not received the first and second notification letters, the Otago Polytechnic Limited policy International Learner Attainment and Attendance will be implemented. I will receive a first notification letter reminding me of my obligations, and if I continue to be absent from  classes or achieve assessment requirements  I will receive a second letter requiring me to attend a meeting with the Te Kaihāpai where it may be decided that my enrolment at Otago Polytechnic Limited could be terminated.


4b. If I continue to be absent from classes or fail to achieve assessment requirements and have previously received from Otago Polytechnic Limited first and second notification letters, I will be required to attend a final meeting, before Otago Polytechnic Limited instigates the termination of my enrolment.

5. If I do not pass at least half of the credits for which I am enrolled in for this academic year I will not be allowed to continue studying the [name of programme].

6. To encourage and monitor my progress I will meet with the International Learner Advisor at the beginning until deemed no longer necessary by Otago Polytechnic Limited.

7. To increase my study skills I will attend, as directed, appointments with an International Learning Advisor.

8. It is my responsibility to make sure that the school has an up-to-date address and contact information for the duration of my study.



...........................................................................    (Signed)........................................................................ (Date)

(Learner Full Name)



………………………………………………………………………...  (Signed)....................................................................... (Date)

(Head of College/Department)











Approved by:
Dr. Megan Gibbons
Chief Executive