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What is a Leave of Absence?
If you feel you need a break from your course, it may be possible to take a some time out. At Keele we call this a 'Leave of Absence (LOA)'. This would usually be for a Semester or a year and may be for the following reasons:
- Medical/Health Reasons
- Personal problems including bereavement
- Financial difficulties
- Work placement
- Changing course
How do I arrange to take a Leave of Absence?
In the first instance talk the option through with your Personal Tutor or a member of staff in your School. Your Personal Tutor will be able to talk to you about the academic implications of taking this time out and if you would need to repeat a period of study on your return. You should then make an appointment to see a student adviser in the Student Services Centre - this can be done by coming in to the Student Services Centre in the Tawney Building for a drop-in or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have spoken to someone from your school and someone from the Student Services Centre you can then fill in the online application for a Leave of Absence through Evision. Once you are on Evision click on the 'Courses and Modules' button. Then click on 'Request Leave of Absence' and fill in the online form.
What are the implications of taking Leave of Absence?
Your funding body will be notified and your funding will be suspended while you are on leave. If you receive Student Finance, this will be reassessed to calculate the amount of student finance you are entitled to up to the point of taking leave of absence. You will then receive a new entitlement letter.
You will be charged tuition fees up to the point of taking leave of absence, however you will not be liable for any further fees while on leave. An adviser will discuss this further with you in your withdrawal meeting.
You are required to leave university accommodation within 28 days of your leave of absence being finalised. You can also be reimbursed for any up front accommodation fees you have paid once you have vacated your room and returned your key.
If you are an international student and you hold a Tier 4 visa, we will inform the Home Office when you start your Leave of Absence and you will then be required to leave the UK as your current visa will be curtailed (cancelled). A few months prior to returning to Keele, it will be necessary for you to request a CAS and apply for fresh Tier 4 Entry Clearance in order to return to the UK and resume your studies.
What do I need to do while I’m on Leave of Absence?
While you are on leave of absence continue to check your Keele email for important information. Keep in touch with your academic school for information about module choices and guidance. Also don’t forget to apply for accommodation by the January deadline if you want to be on campus on your return from leave of absence.
Additional Student Finance Information
Depending on the time of year you take a leave of absence, you may be assessed as being overpaid. If you have incurred an over payment because you are taking a leave of absence from your course, as well as receiving a letter confirming that you have been reassessed, you will also receive a letter informing you of the overpaid amount. The letter will request that you repay this immediately. In this instance you should contact Student Loans Company (SLC) Collections department to repay the full amount but if this is not possible, they will discuss a payment arrangement with you.
Generally students are allowed one additional year funding aka a plus one year. If this is the first time you have taken a leave of absence and haven’t repeated a year previously or studied elsewhere then you will receive full funding when you return to study. You can also apply for Compelling Personal Reasons to give you additional years funding.