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SLC Stakeholder Meeting: June 2016

Key points for cascade - SLC Stakeholder Operations Group (June 2016)

SLC Operational update

All deadlines have now passed for new and returning fulltime 2016/17 students to apply for support. Students should apply as soon as possible to ensure they have some funding in place for the start of term.

The HE Full-time services in England and Wales are operating well within processing and call handling targets.

As of 02/05/16 SLC had received 572,727 2016/17 SFE HE full-time applications. New student applications are approximately 36,000 ahead of forecast.

As of 19/06/16 SLC had received 50,775 2016/17 SFW HE full-time applications. New student applications are approximately 4,000 ahead of forecast.

With both services ahead of forecast SLC is in a strong position as we approach the UCAS Clearing process.

HEP Engagement and Delivery

Members were provided with a presentation covering HEP Service Standards, Attendance and Withdrawal Reporting and volumes of Change of Circumstances.

Previously the effectiveness of SLC engagement was measured by the success of engagement and relationship management however this will now be enhanced by the measures within the Service Management Framework. SLC account managers will be working with their institutions to provide details of how the institution is performing against the Service Management Framework, offering support, training and guidance. SLC have engaged with HEPs on this framework and discussed the measures at the Student Support Seminar and at Service Review Forums. SLC are now looking for Vice Chancellors to provide final sign off on the framework and measures.

Members were advised of increased attention on repayments. This is due to an increase in the amount of money being recovered as a result of overpayments. Members were advised that due to the increased focus there may be more work done to drive down the time HEPs take to notify SLC of a withdrawal.

SLC is also working with UCAS on ways to work more collaboratively and share information. This work is at an early stage but both SLC and UCAS are keen to work more closely. Members were encouraged by the prospect of a closer working relationship between SLC and UCAS and encouraged SLC and UCAS to look at ways to share course and fee information. 

Verification of EU Residency Checks

A number of institutions have been asked (by SLC) to confirm residency details for their EU students. Members advised that some institutions were not comfortable with sharing this information. This is part of an ongoing audit excise and SLC is keen to work more closely with HEPs and share information. It was recognised that to facilitate this SLC may need to work with HEPs on a more formalised arrangement, which satisfies HEPs data protection obligations.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

Concerns were raised regarding students who are not required to complete all of the modules within a standalone masters course due to APEL. BIS have confirmed that students who top up from a lower level qualification or have previous study (no qualification) or experience accredited (which means that they do not have to complete the full masters course) are not eligible for a Postgraduate Loan. This may cause logistical challenges as APEL is often not established until after the student has started and the student has been assessed and paid their first loan instalment. SLC will work with BIS to confirm the policy intent and how SLC will implement the policy.

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