what time of year should I apply for university guardianship?

university guardianship

All international students, who are under the age of 18 when they join a UK university, will be asked to appoint a guardian. A guardian can either be a family member, who is UK-based or professional guardianship agency like Bright World. The university will ask for the contact details and address of the appointed guardian, so that they can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Most Universities will encourage parents to choose an AEGIS accredited guardianship organisation, but at which part of the university admission process should you apply for guardianship?

each to their own

Students on campus

In a nutshell, there is no set time to appoint a guardian. Your university will advise you of their deadline, which may be dependent on your course start date. The information below may help you decide when to start the guardianship enrolment process.


Girl with a folder

Some universities require any prospective students to nominate their guardian at the point of registration, and will not progress the application until this is in place. This election of a UK-based guardian may be insisted upon by a university as one of their many entry requirements. Not at the time of submitting your personal statement, but certainly a little later on. Usually the details of the guardian will be requested on an under 18 consent form, or something similar.

This is certainly the case at UCL- University College of London, where all applicants are asked for their guardian's details very early on in the registration process.

We work very closely with UCL, providing guardianship to many of their students every year. We receive guardianship applications from future UCL students throughout the year, but we tend to see the most in November. It seems as though, for many, this is the optimal time to apply for guardianship.


Thoughtful uni student

Not all universities in the UK will have this approach, however. Many are happy to wait until later in the admissions process, where guardianship may be a latter, or even the last, requirement. Some universities may not even check guardianship arrangements until their students have arrived at the university to begin their studies. There's no right or wrong practice, it simply comes down to the difference in approach at each university, and the practices they have in place. However, you can be sure that such information will be required from you at some point in your journey to a UK university.

be prepared

Stressed student

Even if your university does not ask you to arrange guardianship at such an early stage, it may be useful to do so anyway, of your own accord. It always counts to think ahead so you are not in a rush later on in the process, when you will most likely be busy arranging everything else. The bottom line is- if you are an international student, under the age of 18 years, and in any form of higher education in the UK, you will require guardianship. It may, therefore, be a good idea to make guardianship arrangements early, and provide yourself with the peace of mind that it is already sorted.

Bright World's university guardianship service

At Bright World, we understand that the needs and requirements of university students are very different to those of students studying at boarding schools. We have therefore developed the optimal university guardianship service, including a choice between two distinct options.

Our Full Guardianship package features an orientation visit from one of our Local Coordinators, based close to each university. For those who would prefer not to be visited, our Basic Guardianship package does not include a visit. Either way, our day to day commitment to safeguarding will ensure that all students are properly cared for, and both students and their parents are happy and relaxed.

You can view more information about our University Guardianship service below. Please note that airport transfers and host family stays can also be arranged, upon request.

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