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Student Immigration Manager

The University

At Durham University we are proud of our people. A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally. Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally. We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University. Further information about the University can be found here

The Role and Department

The Student Immigration and Funding Service (SIFS) works with internal colleagues and external partners to provide high quality advice and support relating to immigration legislation and financial support for both undergraduate and postgraduate students and applicants.

The immigration services provided by SIFS include:
  • Provision of advice to students, academic and professional services staff
  • Right to Study checks for all students subject to immigration regulation
  • Monitoring of attendance an engagement and related reporting to UK Visas & Immigration
  • Provision of Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for visa extensions
  • Right to work checks for students being employed at the University
The Service is part of the Student & Academic Services Directorate (SASD). The Directorate provides a professional administrative support service to University staff, students and applicants.

The Academic Registrar is the head of the Directorate and is responsible to the Vice Provost for its management. The following services fall under the SASD’s remit:
  • Access and Engagement
  • Curriculum, Learning and Assessment
  • Recruitment and Admissions
  • Student Immigration and Funding
  • Student Registry
All of the services are based at either the Palatine Centre or Mountjoy Centre in Durham City. The University operates a hybrid working policy which currently offers the opportunity to work from home up to 3 days per week.

You will play a key part in developing the University's policy and principles in relation to immigration compliance, ensuring the University retains its licence to sponsor international students and maintains its strong reputation as an HEI with a track record of compliance.

Being experienced in the delivery of student immigration services, you will also be expected to support and develop the provision of quality immigration advice and casework for international applicants, students and their dependents.

You must also be a flexible team worker able to take responsibility for managing a varied workload to a high standard. A high level of accuracy, sometimes under pressure, is essential. You will be dealing with highly confidential and potentially sensitive information and which must be kept in accordance with the principles of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and in the strictest confidence.

Working at Durham

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:

• 30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.
• The University closes between Christmas and New Year
• We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
• No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered. We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
• There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally. There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University. All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.
• Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
• On site nursery is available and access to holiday camps for children aged 5-16 throughout the year.
• Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
• The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community
• Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.
• A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits.
• If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools. If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.

Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work. As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct. At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application. If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

Qualifications :

What you need to demonstrate when you apply/Person Specification

When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this role. Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description. Where a criteria has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered.

Your application should cover the following criteria:

Essential Criteria

1. Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).

2. Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise in the delivery and development of immigration advice, services, events, and activities within the organisation.

3. Experience of implementing policies and procedures and supporting change and service improvements.

4. Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.

5. Experience of participating in internal or external networks to share and discuss good practice, develop strong and productive working relationships and positively influence the University’s reputation.

6. Experience of managing and developing a team or teams and / or line management qualification.

7. Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.

8. Knowledge of key immigration issues in international higher education.

9. Excellent spoken and written communication skills including the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.

10. Strong digital competence across a range of digital devices and apps including digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, business systems.

11. Committed to continuing professional development to maintain professional recognition.

12. Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.

13. Ability to solve problems and decide on and plan appropriate solutions.

Desirable Criteria

  1. Nottingham/UKCISA Certificate for International Education Professionals.
  2. Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.

How to Apply

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria. Please don’t forget to check if there is any weighted criteria (see above).

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.

Submitting your application

We prefer to receive applications online. We will update you about your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates.

What you need to submit

• A CV
• A supporting statement or covering letter which outlines how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification.

Contact details

For a chat about the role or any further information please contact Tim Broadwell, Deputy Head of SIFS (Immigration, Loans and Bursaries) at

Typical Role Requirements

Service Delivery/Development
  • Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.
  • Review and look for ways to improve systems and procedures that are relevant to the work of the student immigration team and your own personal area of work in line with the University’s frameworks and Regulations.
  • Manage the delivery of Student Immigration advice and support across the University to a high standard.
  • Provide the best possible service by continually reviewing what is required from the staff working in the student immigration team and potentially the wider university and contribute to ideas and service improvements.
  • Work with your team to look for ways to improve processes, techniques and outputs/results across all areas of your work. It is also possible that your workload will impact on the wider university and it is therefore important you consider the implications of UKVI regulations changes on the university as a whole (i.e. admissions policies etc.)
Planning and Organisation
  • Manage the delivery of operational activities carried out by the Student Immigration Service which you are responsible for.
  • Contribute to progressing the strategic and operational priorities of the s ervice, department] and wider directorate .
  • Review data on the level of service provided by your area to recommend areas for future improvement.
Team Development
  • Manage and monitor the performance, workload and expected outcomes of student immigration service and take action to respond to anything that impacts on the service level provided.
  • Ensure that your team can deliver the required services by devolving and delegating responsibilities to appropriate team members.
  • Carry out regular performance reviews to provide feedback on objectives and expectations and identify any development needs.
  • Ensure that your team continues to develop by coaching and mentoring team members and delivering any training needs.
  • Support the welfare and wellbeing of your team referring more complex issues to specialist services.
  • Provide advice and share guidance with your stakeholders to ensure that the University’s policies, procedures and regulations are complied with.
  • Use your operational expertise to participate in business meetings, working groups and sub-committees.
  • Coordinate and oversee committees and other business meetings and deal with any related complaints.
  • Update policies and procedures in response to any internal or external changes, in particular changes to the UKVI regulatory framework..
  • Create positive working relationships, including internal and external networks, using your networks to increase your knowledge and skills and swap information with peers.
  • Any other reasonable duties.

Useful links

If you would like further information you may find the following will help

Visa Information - Durham University

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement Privacy Notices - Durham University which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

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