SLC Oct 2018

Key points for cascade - SLC Stakeholder Operations Group (03rd October 2018)

Marketing

The group were advised that Marketing were currently working on guidance for academic year 2019/20 and as the memorandum had not been signed off no figures would be included. They are also working closely with the assessment teams to produce current year income guidance.

Colleagues from Marketing, Customer Insight and UX recently worked with the Government Digital Service (GDS) on a step by step navigation feature for undergraduate student finance. Step by step navigation is a new feature on Gov.UK designed to guide users through complex tasks by breaking them down into clear, manageable steps. It allows students to check if they are eligible for student finance, and find out how much they can get, how to apply and when they will start repaying. GDS user research on step by step navigation has consistently demonstrated that:

  • presenting complex tasks as clear steps helps users self-serve;
  • seeing the whole process makes it seem manageable; and
  • the design is easily understood and accessible.

UCAS update UCAS shared an update with the group on day 28 data. Key points were:

  • 500,000 people are now placed in full-time UK higher education through UCAS so far, a decrease of 2 per cent on the same point last year.
  • 60,000 people accepted through clearing
  • 30,000 EU students accepted which is an increase of 2% on 2017.
  • 14,000 people applied through directed clearing

Operational update

Headlines remained unchanged with the number of applicants slightly up this academic year and 50,000 more accounts ready for payment when made on the 24th September, this was due to e-signatures. In terms of late applicants, processing was 1 day slower on average than the same time last year. The group were advised that there had been some issues recently with the telephone systems that had resulted in calls taking slightly longer. A fix had now gone in to resolve.

Complaints were down for processing however up year on year for repayments and no changes to the Risk Report.

New SLC CEO, Paul Sussex had taken up her appointment and is currently spending time getting to know the company and visiting SLC sites.

Unintended consequences of changes to healthcare funding.

Group members had a lengthy discussion around the unintended consequences of changes to healthcare funding and representatives from the Policy department were in attendance. Group members felt it was important that DfE are aware of the issues. Issues discussed were cohort changes not being a course change, long course loans and government quarters and prior study.

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