SLC Stakeholder Meeting: November 2015
Key points for cascade - SLC Stakeholder Operations Group (November 2015)
SLC interim structure
Whilst SLC works with BIS on the recruitment of a new CEO the following interim arrangements will be in place at CEO and Executive Leadership Team level. David Wallace will be interim Chief Executive, Derek Ross will pick up David’s previous portfolio of responsibilities in relation to Finance, Strategy and Corporate Services and Mark Cassidy will become interim Director of Operations and Customer Services.
SLC Operational update
The AY 2015/16 Student Finance England (SFE) and Student Finance Wales (SFW) services continue to operate within processing and call handling targets. As of 15th November SLC had received 1.18 million SFE full-time applications (89% of forecasted applications).
As of 15th November SLC have received 66,303 AY 2015/16 SFW full-time applications, which is around 95% of forecasted AY 15/16 SFW full-time applications.
HEP Engagement and Delivery
Unreconciled Balances - SLC are currently working with 7 HEPs to identify and resolve their outstanding balances. Although to date no trends have been identified, in general these outstanding balances seem to be created when updates are made to procedures or with complex cases where students have had multiple changes to their records. SLC will continue to work with the sector as a whole to identify and resolve outstanding balances.
Management of student withdrawals - Members discussed the importance of submitting withdrawal notifications as soon as possible. Members recognised the differences between Higher Education Providers (HEP), which may mean some take longer to action withdrawals than others but felt it was important that HEPs understood the implications for the students. SLC will attend a future ARC Council meeting to discuss this at an institutional level.
Awarding Body Reconciliation - A pilot was commissioned in January 2015 to test the feasibility of undertaking a reconciliation of SLC attendance confirmations with Pearson Registrations for Alternative Providers (APs) with HND/HNC programs for AY14/15. Following the successful pilot this reconciliation exercise has now been commissioned by BIS for AY15/16. SLC are hoping to extend this to other awarding bodies (in addition to Pearson) but require data share agreements in place first.
UCAS Update: Deadline Statistics
15 October was the ‘equal consideration’ deadline for most medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses as well as all courses at the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. The total number of applicants to 15 October deadline is 56,630, up from 56,360 last year. Total applicants from the UK have decreased by 1%, whilst the number of international applicants has increased (8% rise in applicants from the EU and a 1% increase from outside the EU). UCAS have also seen an increase in UK 18 year old applicants (1%), despite a fall in the population of 2%. The UCAS end of cycle report (which provides a detailed picture of the trends in demand for full-time undergraduate courses, offer-making and application outcomes) will be published on 17th December.
CAS will also issue a survey on Name-blind applications on 9th December and members were encourage to respond to this and share with colleagues who may have an interest.
Student Finance Marketing Update
SLC successfully launched the payment campaigns for England and Wales working with UCAS, creating new content for YouTube, updated messages for the telephone IVR systems and activity on the Studentroom. The payment film has received over 100,000 views and created a spike in subscribers for the channel
Academic Year 2016/17 quick guides are now available for Student Finance England and updated information has been placed on the Student Finance Wales site.
SLC has launched new repayment information at www.slc.co.uk/studentloanrepayment , which provides students with information relevant to their repayment plan in a simple and reassuring way. The letters to students who are due to entre repayments will also direct them to this quick information.