Birmingham International Academy: Social Programme

General statement

The Birmingham International Academy does not undertake to provide a comprehensive, year-round social programme since this is strictly outside of the remit of an organisation based within a university context. We do however have a number of residential and other events that introduce students to each other and the opportunities available within the university. During the peak summer months there is a full social programme for Presessional English students offering a range of social, sporting and cultural activities. Some of these will incur additional costs which are clearly advertised.

Beyond this we believe that students benefit from organising their own social time and engaging with the wide range of activities available with in a busy university environment.

Students under-18 are encouraged to engage with all of the activities offered by the University provided they are age relevant (e.g. certain restrictions in terms of alcohol and sexual behaviour apply to some of the social events and groups organised within the University).

Aims of the social programme

  1. To offer advice, entertainment and social interaction
  2. To offer the chance to participate in physical sports and exercise
  3. To offer the opportunity to experience the culture of the UK in its broadest sense
  4. An opportunity for students to meet and talk to home students socially

Staff & supervisor ratios

For BIA directed activities (such as residential, organised trips etc.) appropriate ratios of adults to under-18 year olds are followed.


1) Residential programmes

The BIA organises two residential programmes that are available for all Foundation Pathway students. These consist of two three-day adventure programmes which aim to introduce the new students to their cohorts and to develop communication, organisation and problem-solving skills. Sessions are led by appropriately trained and qualified staff. BIA teaching and professional services staff are also encouraged to attend these residential trips.

The two centres we use are:

  • University of Birmingham Raymond Priestley Centre, Coniston 
  • PGL Liddington.

These centres both have full risk assessment and under-18 safeguarding policies in place.

2) Sports and exercise

There are a number of opportunities to engage in sports and exercise whilst in the BIA:

  • A number of sport clubs and activities are offered through the halls of residence in the Vale
  • Membership of University of Birmingham Sport is offered to all students including those in the BIA

    This is one of the largest University organisations. All formal sport training and clubs are professionally staffed at the appropriate ratios and with full health and safety compliance.

    Full list of supervised sports and their associated clubs

  • Students are also encouraged to use the facilities and sport spaces as individuals via a booking system
  • In the past BIA students have also organised BIA sport teams via the halls of residence or the Guild of Students that have entered University-wide events, an activity that we have supported

Sporting events are advertised at student induction, the University Sport web site, social media and BIA and accommodation notice boards. Sports and events suitable for Under 18 students are clearly advertised.

3) Social life and clubs

BIA students are offered a number of formal opportunities to socialise:

  1. A number of events (i.e. Christmas craft fairs, the BIA journal etc) are organised throughout the year (advertised via the BIA notice boards and social media)
  2. Social events are periodically organised by Mason Hall and other University accommodation which are advertised by social media and the notice boards in the accommodation
  3. The University Guild of Students provides a very large range of student clubs and societies.

    There is a wide  range of activities outlined on the Guild of Students website.  The Guild’s ‘customer care policy’ regarding clubs and safety is also available online. There are restrictions for some clubs in terms of under-18 students that are enforced.

4) Organised day trips

The BIA organises a number of trips to various locations in the UK throughout the academic year. Typically these include visits to Oxford, Bath, Cambridge and Stratford -on-Avon. These trips are fully staffed and are risk assessed. The safeguarding policy for these trips is outlined in the BIA ‘Safeguarding on Trips’ document.