Stakeholder_Bulletin_Jun2010 by wuyunyi



  JUNE 2010

This bulletin gives you an update on Student               New for Student Finance England in 2010/2011
Finance England for academic year 2010/2011 -
how we are doing and what’s new.                           New online application
                                                           We launched our new online application for students on
We received recommendations for improvements from          Monday 12 April. This makes it quicker and easier for
both our internal reviews and independent external         students to apply online for student finance.
                                                           The new online application has:
Our focus this year is on implementing the                 Improved screen layouts and simplified questions –
recommendations of these reviews and ensuring a            as the student responds to questions their application is
successful service in academic year 2010 / 2011.           tailored to their needs. Students can also skip sections
                                                           and return to them later.
We have strengthened our leadership with the               Improved sponsor linking – students applying for the
appointment of an interim Chairman, Professor Sir          first time will not need to use a separate reference number
Deian Hopkin, Chief Executive, Ed Lester, Chief            (known as the Alias ID) for their parents or partners - they
Operating Officer, David Wallace, Director of Marketing    can complete their details at the same time as the student.
and Communication, Harry Taylor and Director of            Student finance calculator links – students can take the
Human Resources, Taroub Zahran. Their skills and           information from the student finance calculator into their
experience will help us to deliver a better service this   student finance application saving them time.
year.                                                      Evidence screen - students can check what evidence
                                                           they need to send us, and find out if we have received it.
We have a new Student Finance England management
team to drive the changes needed to ensure delivery in     Improved online application for returning students
2010/2011.                                                 The launch also includes an improved online application
                                                           for returning students which makes their application
We have also strengthened our Board of Directors with      simpler. Students are presented with the details they
the appointment of two new non-executive directors;        entered last year. If nothing has changed, they confirm
Michael Yuille and Willie Gallagher, who bring             this and their application is complete.
experience in customer service and finance from the
HE sector and commercial business.                         New student finance letter
                                                           We’ve combined our entitlement and payment schedule
                                                           letters into one student finance letter. This letter lets
Our performance for AY 2010 / 2011 - application           students know:
processing performance
                                                           • what student finance they are entitled to
We have received slightly fewer applications at this       • when to expect payments
point than we would have wanted, particularly from         • what finance is being paid directly to them
returning students as the deadline for returning           • what finance is being paid directly to their university or
students has passed.                                       college.

We would like to enlist your help as a key
stakeholder in using your channels to encourage
both new and returning students to apply for
finance. The final deadline for new means tested
students is 25 June.
Improved customer service                                    New Stakeholder Engagement Structure

More customer advisors - we are increasing the number        This new approach will result in significantly
of people we have to take calls which means we can react     strengthened engagement in a number of ways:
quickly to customer demand. During our peak time, from
August to October, we will have 150-200 extra contact        Stakeholder Forum
centre advisors.                                             A Stakeholder Forum has been established to enable
                                                             key HE sector representatives to engage with us, our
Better training - we have improved the training to all our   Board and the Department for Business, Innovation and
customer advisors so that they have better product           Skills. This Forum will challenge and raise any
knowledge and can give better information, advice and        concerns about strategic risks and issues affecting
guidance to students.                                        delivery of the Student Finance England service and
                                                             advise on how best to develop the service.
Automated proof of identity - we are moving to an
automated service for proof of identity to make this         Working Groups
process easier and quicker. We no longer need                We have introduced five working groups, each of which
customers to send us their passport as proof of identity.    will focus on the delivery of different aspects of the
                                                             Student Finance England service.
Better technology - our scanning processes and
technology have been re-engineered, tested and               An independent chair for each working group
reintroduced successfully.                                   Each group will be chaired by an HE Sector
                                                             Stakeholder which will enable our stakeholders and
Improved customer communications                             SLC to work together to set the agenda and
Deadline dates - we have proactively informed students
of deadlines dates for 2010 / 2011 – the final deadline      Student Loans Company Director Sponsorship
date for new full time students is 25 June.                  Each working group will have a SLC Director as the
                                                             SLC ‘owner’. This gives a clear escalation route for any
UCAS conventions - we are attending over 30 UCAS             Issues raised by the working groups.
conferences throughout England to talk directly to school
pupils about what financial support is available and how     The new working groups are:
to apply
                                                             The Student Finance Operations Stakeholder Group
Explaining the application process - we are providing        which will focus on dealing with issues related to the
clear advice and guidance to students to explain the         operation of the entire annual application cycle.
application process, including when they can expect to
receive their money.                                         The IAG and Customer Insight Group which will
                                                             provide input to our Information, Advice and Guidance
Using our channels to talk to students - we are using        strategic messages, campaigns and processes.
our websites, text messaging, email and we launched a
Student Finance England facebook site and Twitter to         The Disabled Student Stakeholder Group which will
keep students informed.                                      review and advise on aspects of the operational
                                                             delivery of specialist support to disabled students.
Strengthened stakeholder engagement and
communications                                               The Vulnerable Student Stakeholder Group which
                                                             will review and advise on aspects of the operational
We received feedback from you that we need to engage         delivery of specialist support to vulnerable students.
with you more closely regarding service delivery. Now
that Student Finance England is operational, our             The HEI Services and Finance Stakeholder Group
engagement will focus on delivery performance and            which will focus on the processes and procedures
resolving issues as well as providing input to service       governing interactions between the Student Loans
improvements and service design.                             Company and Higher Education Institutions to support
                                                             the application cycle and delivery of the service.

                                                             These groups are established with representatives from
                                                             our stakeholders and partners. The outcomes of these
                                                             meetings will be communicated using bulletins like this.
Stakeholder Survey
                                                            A key relationship issue arising from the survey was the
The survey, conducted in November 2009, measured
                                                            need for improvement in consultation in order that
the effectiveness of our relationship management, our
                                                            stakeholders felt suggestions were acted upon.
partner and stakeholder satisfaction with the Student
Finance England service, and with the Student Loans
                                                            Few stakeholders, in particular Disability Practitioners
Company as a corporate organisation.
                                                            and National Assessment Centres, stated that they
                                                            would speak positively of us at that time, driven by the
Most stakeholders were reasonably happy with the
                                                            service provided to students. The events of 2009 have
services we were providing to them, and their
                                                            severely undermined our credibility, reducing trust and
relationship with us. However Disability Practitioners
                                                            confidence in our ability to deliver to students, the most
and National Assessment Centres were less satisfied
                                                            important stakeholder audience.
and felt that there was a need for more relationship
                                                            FE Colleges were very happy with the delivery of EMA,
                                                            ALG FE and PTA that we provided to them and very
Disabled Student Practitioners and National
                                                            few were dissatisfied with any aspect of their
Assessment Centres rated the service provided to
disabled students very poorly and, along with the
majority of stakeholders, felt that there was a need for
                                                            In response to these survey results, we are developing
more knowledgeable staff with expertise in specific
                                                            action plans for each stakeholder audience in order to
areas to avoid inconsistency of advice to students.
                                                            strengthen engagement and improve communications.

If you have any feedback or suggestions on this bulletin please email us at

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