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Student Finance England: Complaints

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 17th October 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to review the efficiency of Student Finance England; and how many complaints Student Finance England received in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010.

Photo of David Willetts David Willetts Minister of State (Universities and Science)

Student Finance England (SFE) is the service for English-domiciled students applying for financial support in higher education and is administered by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) reviews the performance and efficiency of the SLC, including its SFE service, on an ongoing basis. This includes through formal reviews assessing performance against targets agreed in SLC's Annual Performance and Resource Agreement (APRA).

SLC records all the complaints it receives and the following table summarises the number of complaints received by SLC in 2008, 2009 and 2010. A breakdown of these figures to show the number of complaints relating to SFE in particular is not readily available.

By way of context, the increase in the number of complaints since 2008 could be seen to be commensurate with the increase in SLC's work. The SLC took over responsibility from English local authorities for student finance assessments over a three-year period starting with new applicants for the 2009/10 academic year and ending with all applicants for the 2011/12 academic year. For the 2009/10 academic year SLC received 470,000 applications, for the 2010/11 academic year this figure increased to 800,000.

This year (for the 2011/12 academic year) the SLC has already received over one million applications.

Complaints received by the SLC
Financial year Number of cases
2008-09 2,176
2009-10 2,566
2010-11 5,810
Total 10,552

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