Skip to main content

Students: Loans

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many complaints regarding the time taken to process disabled students allowance applications have been received by (a) his Department and (b) the Student Loans Company in the last 12 months. (302888)

In the last 12 months, the Department has received 34 complaints in this category. The Student Loans Company does not separately categorise complaints about applications for Disabled Students’ Allowances.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the cost was of designing and implementing the integrated applications system for student loans introduced in September 2008. (302890)

Changes required to deliver the new Student Finance (England) service are due to be phased in over a number of years. The total cost of designing and implementing the system between financial years 2006-07 and 2011-12 is expected to be £48.7 million, of which £33.3 million had been spent at the end of financial year 2008-09.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what representations (a) his Department and (b) the Students Loans Company has received from universities seeking reimbursement of emergency loans issued to students. (303180)

The Department has not received any representations from universities seeking reimbursement of emergency loans to students. Neither has the Student Loans Company.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the monetary value was of (a) outstanding student loans held and (b) student loan repayments made by students from (i) the UK, (ii) other EU member states and (iii) non-EU countries in each of the last five years. (303590)

The information requested is as follows:

Loan balance outstanding and repayments

£ million

Financial Year

Loan balance outstanding including loans not yet due for repayment1

Repayments posted to SLC accounts during financial year

English domicile

2004-05

13,033.4

417.3

2005-06

15,321.7

481.6

2006-07

18,106.7

529.8

2007-08

21,902.2

633.0

2008-09

25,867.0

897.6

EU domicile

2006-07

9.7

2

2007-08

42.1

0.5

2008-09

96.8

2.0

1 Loan balance at the end of the financial year

2 Less than 100,000

Source:

Student Loans Company

The table shows those who at the time of their application for student support were either English domiciled students studying in the UK, or who were EU students studying in England.

Students from non-EU countries are not generally eligible for support. However, EEA migrant workers and certain family members, children of Swiss nationals and children of Turkish workers may be eligible. Such students are entitled to apply for the full student support package, and are included in the English domicile part of the table.

EU students who have taken out tuition fee loans only, (introduced in academic year 2006-07), are shown in the EU domicile part of the table. Most EU loan borrowers are still at university and therefore not yet required to begin repaying their loans. A borrower who started a typical three year course in 2006-07 will become liable to begin repaying in April 2010.

Most income contingent loan repayments are collected through the tax system. The SLC are notified of repayments after the end of the tax year. This means that, for example, repayments shown in financial year 2008-09 mostly relate to repayments made in tax year 2007-08. Repayments made via the tax system in tax year 2008-09 are not reflected in the table. The figures include repayments made directly to the SLC from borrowers living overseas and from borrowers who have chosen to repay more than the regulatory amount.

The SLC has robust measures in place to collect loan repayments from EU Students. Those staying in the UK are expected to obtain a National Insurance Number (NINO) and make repayments through the UK tax system. But those borrowers who move and default on their loans will be traced and, where appropriate, legal action will be taken.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he expects all outstanding student loan applications to be processed by 31 December 2009. (305795)

[holding answer 10 December 2009]: I have been advised that Student Finance England cleared the backlog of correspondence by 11 December 2009 and I have sought clarification of this from the chief executive of the Student Loans Company. The Student Loans Company is still receiving around 1,500 new applications each week.

There are students in the system who still need to provide all the necessary evidence for their application to be completed. This includes people claiming disabled students’ allowance who are still awaiting their assessments. I have instructed the SLC to work swiftly to contact students and assessment centres in universities to process all outstanding cases as quickly as possible.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of second instalment student loans he expects to be paid by 28 January 2010; and if he will make a statement. (305796)

[holding answer 10 December 2009]: It is not clear whether the question relates to maintenance or tuition fee loans.

Of the applications processed so far, there are currently 741,376 second maintenance loan instalments relating to Student Finance England scheduled for payment between 24 December and 31 January.

These figures exclude payment of grants.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what mechanisms are in place to ensure that students in higher education receive their tuition fee and maintenance loans before their course commences. (307409)

Students cannot receive maintenance loans or grants before their course commences. Once the university has confirmed the student’s attendance, payment is made through the Bankers’ Automated Clearing System (BACS). Tuition fees are paid directly to Higher Education Institutions on behalf of students in two equal instalments during the academic year.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the budget of the Student Loans Company has been in each of the last three years. (307410)

The Student Loans Company's UK budget is set out in an Annual Performance and Resource Agreement letter, the most recent of which is available to download from the Student Loans Company website at:

http://www.slc.co.uk/about%20us/remit/index.html

The UK budget for the last three years has been as follows:

Financial year

£ million

2007-08

75.7

2008-09

86.7

2009-10

98.1

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what powers the Government has to alter the management (a) structure and (b) personnel of the Student Loans Company. (307411)

Governance arrangements agreed between the Administrations of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and the Student Loans Company (SLC) are set out in the SLC’s Framework Document which is available in the House of Commons Library and also on the Student Loans Company’s website at:

http://www.slc.co.uk/about%20us/remit/index.html

Ministers appoint the Chair and Non-Executive Directors of the SLC Board and approve the appointment by the Board of the Chief Executive Officer. Other Executive Director appointments are a matter for the SLC Board.