The value of ConsularAssist to the education sector, particularly those in Higher Education is multi-faceted, as more students travel from abroad to study in the UK and establishments make the most of the opportunities overseas travel provides for their students and staff to develop their studies and work. Universities also have to protect their reputation and enhance their student offering. At the same time, they have a duty of care to their people, even when they are halfway across the world.

International business travel to areas of political, social and economic instability is fraught with dangers, and you would be forgiven for assuming the safety of your students and staff is out of your control. Ultimately, of course, it is; but your duty of care extends to ensuring they are adequately prepared for travel and supported during and after their trips.

With more than 437,000 international students studying at UK universities and 27,000 UK nationals travelling abroad for some or all of their higher education, today’s world is too uncertain not to entertain the risks associated with travel. Even a small problem can become time-consuming and costly, spoiling a trip, and in the event of an emergency situation, the effects can be long-term and far-reaching. Travel insurance does not traditionally cover consular assistance (although we are delighted to have an ever-growing number of partnerships with insurance providers), and the increasingly stretched resources of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) result in only the most vulnerable receiving help from the Government. For international students travelling to the UK, issues with travel documents, including passports and visas can have a significant impact on their studies and wellbeing.

ConsularAssist provides:

Consular expertise
Assistance with lost or stolen passports and advice about the quickest route to replacing vital documents.
Emergency help
Expert assistance in emergencies from knowledgeable consular-trained staff.
Assistance abroad
Immediate help in over 180 countries, whatever the problem. One call does it all.
How does ConsularAssist help?

  • Liaise on your behalf with diplomatic personnel and local authorities
  • Assist with lost passports and other important documents
  • Contact, advise and support family, friends and/or employers so they have the right information and options in any travel crisis
  • Provide legal referral and arrange legal appointments
  • Organise translation and interpreter referrals
  • Deliver specialist help and advice in missing person, kidnapping and abduction cases
  • Advise on rights and access to independent lawyers if detained or imprisoned abroad
  • Help and support victims of crime and assault and assist next of kin in the event of death.

Why does my education establishment need ConsularAssist?

Although the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974’s jurisdiction is limited to UK territory and territorial waters, offshore installations and UK registered ships and aircraft, employment legislation and common law provide protection for employees travelling abroad for business. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected and global opportunities become more accessible, the duty of care colleges and universities must demonstrate for students and staff becomes more complicated.

When your staff and students are travelling, studying or working abroad, ConsularAssist will:

  • Be available 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Provide immediate support and minimise escalation
  • Demonstrate your commitment to duty of care
  • Protect your reputation
  • Enhance your travel policy and risk management procedures
  • Strengthen your Incident Management Planning
  • Reduce associated costs of incident resolution


The risks faced by those studying and working abroad vary considerably. From minor incidents including medical issues and being a victim of petty crime to the threats of natural disasters, terrorism and pandemics. Until now, there has been limited support and guidance for organisations to put procedures in place that will not only safeguard students and staff but also provide better incident management.

You can only do so much to protect your students and staff, and even if they follow all the advice they are given, if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, they could still find themselves in need of assistance. When your employees/students are thousands of miles away, who are you going to go to for help? Your first thought may be the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the local consulate; but when consular assistance is purely discretionary, you need to have a better strategy.  A university’s travel policy and risk management procedures need to include provisions to strengthen Incident Management Plans. That may be medical, security or consular assistance (or, better still, a combination of all three). Travel insurance is a must, but check what it covers, as duty of care goes way beyond financial losses, and many policies don’t.

Similarly, an international student studying in the UK may require assistance that their government is unable to provide, including visa issues and problems arising from cultural differences. Whilst universities are well-equipped to provide support to their students in many scenarios; they are unlikely to have the consular expertise that may be required for a satisfactory resolution.

Contact us to find out more about the benefits of ConsularAssist for the education sector.


Trips abroad by uk nationals
Britons living abroad
FCO Enquiries Received Annually
Cases managed by the FCO
Case Studies
Real life scenarios that demonstrate the invaluable difference ConsularAssist makes
Missing Person
Express Kidnapping
Lost passport at Terminal
Medical Evacuation
Lost Passport
Matt Deaville
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