SLC Stakeholder Meeting: March 2016

ey points for cascade - SLC Stakeholder Operations Group (March 2016)

SLC Operational update
The launch of the AY 2016/17 Student Finance England (SFE) and Student Finance Wales (SFW) HE full-time services went well with no issues. The services are operating well within processing and call handling targets.

As of 13th March SLC had received over 96,700 SFE full-time AY 2016/17 applications (7.6% of forecasted applications).

As of 13th March SLC had received 4,000 AY 2016/17 SFW full-time applications, which is around 6.8% of forecasted applications

Incorrect cohort assessment issue
Members were advised of an investigation which identified a defect which allowed students to amend their course start date. This defect has been fixed but it has resulted in a number of students being assessed on the incorrect cohort. Errors in the data entering of paper forms and students including the incorrect course start date on their paper form may have also contributed to this issue. This issue as resulted in a number of students being assessed on the incorrect cohort leading both over and underpayments of student loans and grants.

All affected students still in study have been contacted and placed on the correct cohort. SLC is working with the Department for Business Innovation and Skill and devolved administrations to develop an approach to resolve the overpayments and underpayments of student loans and grants for students who have left their course.

Members asked to be kept informed as SLC works with the Department for Business Innovation and Skill and devolved administrations to develop an approach for students who have left their course.

Incorrect cohort assessment issue
Members were advised of an investigation which identified a defect which allowed students to amend their course start date. This defect has been fixed but it has resulted in a number of students being assessed on the incorrect cohort. Errors in the data entering of paper forms and students including the incorrect course start date on their paper form may have also contributed to this issue. This issue as resulted in a number of students being assessed on the incorrect cohort leading both over and underpayments of student loans and grants.
All affected students still in study have been contacted and placed on the correct cohort. SLC is working with the Department for Business Innovation and Skill and devolved administrations to develop an approach to resolve the overpayments and underpayments of student loans and grants for students who have left their course.
Members asked to be kept informed as SLC works with the Department for Business Innovation and Skill and devolved administrations to develop an approach for students who have left their course.

Repayment Information Advice and Guidance (IAG)
Members were provided with an update on current repayment IAG. SLC recognised that this information could be strengthen and have recruited someone to look at how to improved repayment IAG. This person will look at SLC’s current repayment IAG and over the next few months develop a strategy for strengthening this. SLC are also looking at using SMS to students at the point where they are leaving their HEP to remind them of their repayment responsibilities. SLC are keen to develop a repayment pack with information HEPs can used with their students. Resources will be available online and HEPs will be able to embed these resources on their websites. Members agreed to help SLC develop these resources and help promote them to the sector.

You can view our current Student Finance England practitioner resources at: www.practitioners.slc.co.uk

Student Finance Wales practitioners resources are available at: www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/practitioners Y

ou can find information regarding repayments at: http://www.studentloanrepayment.co.uk%20hep/

HEP Services update

Student Support Seminar 2016
This year’s Student Support Seminar was held on 16th to 18th March. 420 delegates attended workshops, interactive sessions and plenary discussions on a diverse programme of topics and subject areas. It was too soon after the seminar to provide detailed feedback but on the ground feedback was very positive.

CoCs enhancements
Change of Circumstances is a complicated area with a number of system limitations which can make the process more complex. SLC are planning a number of enhancements to help improve this, these include:
These improvements are currently awaiting approval but members were supportive of these changes.

  • CoC tracker – This will create greater visibility of the processing/where a CoC is in the process
  • Removal of duplicate information
  • Increase in validation points – currently the system only validates information at the point of submission. This will increase the points at which information is validated so practitioners can update this information before progressing.
  • Built-in import functionality for Part-time

Update from User Groups
The SIS User Group and the CMS User Group met in December to provide feedback on the design of the Postgraduate Loans service and to ratify a number of assumptions.

The HEBSS Steering group (which provides oversight of the HEBSS scheme and acts as a forum for stakeholder liaison and management) met in March and discussed how the surplus from the HEBSS scheme should be spent.

You can learn more about the user groups, including membership and the remit of each group at: www.heiinfo.slc.co.uk/engagement/service-user-groups

Postgraduate Loans HEP Course Services
The Postgraduate Loans Courses Management Service (CMS) launched without issue. To date SLC has received over 600 course submissions from 23 providers. SLC is expecting between 18,000 and 20,000 submissions, however, as this is the first year SLC will offer funding for Masters courses, this forecast may be subject to review.

< Back to all news