BBC News - Next year's student loans delayed

BBC News – Next yr’s student loans delayed



By Sean Coughlan


BBC News training

Students in lecture

The loan delays are already having a knock-on impact on subsequent yr

The begin of the purposes course of for subsequent yr’s student loans for England is being delayed – following this yr’s widespread issues.

The launch of the loans and grants service for students beginning in September 2010 ought to have been at first of this week.

But the Student Loans Company says that this has now been postponed.

A evaluate of loan delays for students who started programs this autumn discovered “conspicuous failures”.

The delays in funds going through tens of 1000’s of students, which have dragged on for months after the beginning of time period, have now induced a knock-on impact for subsequent yr.

‘Fiasco’

The meant beginning date of December 7 has been withdrawn – with no new date to date set to interchange it.

The company which administers student assist for the federal government, the Student Loans Company, says it was postponed pending the evaluate into supply issues carried out by Professor Sir Deian Hopkin.

The evaluate discovered issues with the processing system and a failure to offer info to students.

It discovered that throughout the peak of delays solely 5% of calls to a helpline have been being answered.

Universities have been compelled to bail out students with emergency funding – with explicit issues for mature students with kids of their very own.

Sally Hunt, chief of the UCU lecturers’ union mentioned: “Considering three-quarters of universities have had to find money for broke students and 19 out of 20 calls from students desperately chasing money they were promised went unanswered, I am glad that the current system is being reviewed.

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“We want to make sure this fiasco is sorted out as soon as and for all.”

Liberal Democrat universities spokesman Stephen Williams said the SLC was “an entire shambles”.

It had failed to do its job and ministers had failed to intervene.

“This postponement is additional proof that the time has come for heads to roll,” he said.

The SLC has announced that it will undertake a “restructuring” of senior administration. No date has but been set for this to occur.

The issues with the processing system are additionally being investigated by the National Audit Office, which expects to report within the spring.


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