Information for students aged under 18 joining Birmingham International Academy

This information must be read by all students under 18 at the time of applying to study on a campus-based course at the Birmingham International Academy.


Birmingham International Academy (BIA) provides a unique learning experience for international students at the University who require further academic qualifications to prepare for main University degree programmes. The BIA admits students who are under 18 (but older than 16) who are mature and responsible enough to study in a large university and can live independently. 

If you are under the age of 18, you may have different needs in relation to your support and wellbeing. The BIA will ensure you have access to structured support throughout your time with us. You will have access to a BIA Academic Tutor and the BIA Student Welfare Officer. The BIA works closely with wider-University services including Student Services, Hospitality and Accommodation Services (HAS) and the International Student Team (IST) to ensure you receive accurate, confidential and bespoke advice.

Arrival and induction

We aim to ensure your safe arrival at Birmingham and will ask for your travel details. We ask you to use our airport collection service or alternatively to use a taxi service recommended by us.

Within your first few days, you will attend a workshop which will cover:

  • How we monitor your attendance and make sure you are safe.
  • Why it is important to attend class regularly.
  • How to look after yourself.
  • Guidance on safety and security and sensible behaviour.
  • How to access health care in the UK.
  • Legal advice about alcohol, tobacco, drugs and gambling laws.
  • Emergency contact details. You will need to supply two emergency contacts. We will supply you with contact details for the BIA and a 24-hour emergency contact for University Security.
  • Do and Don’ts of living in the UK.

 You will also discuss many of these issues in class with your tutors.

Contact details

It is important that we know your contact details before you arrive in the UK. This includes your UK address, email and your UK mobile phone number. You must tell us if you change these whilst you are with us.

We will require at least one UK-based emergency contact for every student aged under 18.

University Security can be contacted 24 hours a day. Out of hours you can also contact the Duty Manager at the Vale.

The Birmingham International Academy can be contacted during working hours on 0121 414 5697.


All students under 18 years old are required to live in University-managed accommodation. You will be supported by the Customer Services Manager and a dedicated member of BIA staff and a International Student Services Coordinator. Students who express an interest in living off campus with a local relative or designated guardian must have consent from their parents and the agreement of the BIA. Students must use pre-paid meal plans unless alternative arrangements are confirmed in writing by the parents or legal guardians.

Attendance and monitoring

Attendance at class is monitored daily. Outside of taught periods students are required to check in daily with our programmes administrator. Any explained absence will be investigated on the same day.


All staff who are regular contact with students under the age of 18 will have an advanced disclosure check undertaken by the Disclosure and Barring Service. This check is coordinated by the UK government and provides employers with information on the criminal history of their staff. All staff at the BIA have passed the check and most have taken additional training in how to safeguard young people.

Suitable arrangements will be made for the supervision and dafety of students during scheduled lessons and on-campus activities. For off-campus activities, day trips and social events, there will be at least one suitably DBS checked adult group leader for every 20 students aged under 18.

The BIA has a number of designated safeguarding officers who will deal with any allegation of abuse or concerns about safety. The University’s Safeguarding Policy is available online in PDF form (201 KB)

All students are expected to follow the University's Code of Practice on Student Attendance and Reasonable Diligence which sets out the expectations for attendance and academic engagement.

Social events

All BIA trips and residential courses are organised with the care and safety of under-18s in mind. A risk assessment is carried out by a suitably trained officer for all excursions. These events and the centres we use all have appropriately trained and DBS checked staff. 

The University allows students aged under 18 to take part in most of the events, societies and sports on offer. However, there are some restrictions concerning specific events with alcohol or where the University feels that the activity involved, though legal, is not suitable for under-18s. The BIA and the Student Guild will inform you of what is suitable for under-18s to take part in.