SLC Stakeholder Group March 15

Summary points

The Student Finance England and Student Finance Wales services for full-time students for AY 2015/16 are open for applications. The services are operating within processing and call handling targets, with the trend towards fewer calls continuing.

The auto roll over process, for continuing students who applied for non-means tested student finance last year is complete for England and Wales [whereby customers whose applications didn’t depend on their parent/s or partner’s household income are automatically processed for the next year of funding].

SLC are promoting “apply now” communications to continuing SFE and SFW students [not part of auto rollover], including requests to stakeholders and partners to communicate this message to their students [www.slc.co.uk/stakeholders-partners/latest-news]

BIS have confirmed that the proposed DSA changes for England will be deferred until AY 2016/17 [www.slc.co.uk/stakeholders-partners/latest-news]

DSA guidance is still awaiting sign-off, but this is expected imminently. DSA application processing for AY 2015/16 will begin as soon as the guidance is signed-off by BIS.

The consultation on Postgraduate loans will not be issued until after Purdah, at the other side of the election.

There was a PAC [Public Accounts Committee] hearing with SLC, BIS, HEFCE and Pearsons on 16 March. The SLC Stakeholder Operations Group and the Stakeholder Forum are discussing how the sector can work with SLC to ensure the correct cash flows are in the system, through timely HEI notification of withdrawals and other SIS actions, to ensure money is not paid out to students, which then has to be clawed back.

Around 86% of full-time 2015/16 courses have been entered into the Courses Management Service.

The Courses Management Service for 2015/16 part-time opened on 4 March 2015 and is standing at approximately a 51% completion rate [part-time service launch dates - tbc].

For students applying who are unable to find their course on the SLC system, the key message is that the student has to contact their university or institution.

Group discussed enhancement to replace the UCAS Course Code on the Attendance Returns with the SLC Course Code, to eradicate the issue of ‘Unique Course Identifier’. It was highlighted that many within the sector use UCAS codes and not SLC Course Codes in mapping the returns, so this solution may require further consideration.

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Supplied by RL 24th March 2015

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