The Department for Business Innovation and Skills announced today that John Goodfellow, the Chair of the Student Loans Company (SLC) is standing down with Professor Sir Deian Hopkins appointed as Interim Chair, and that Ralph Seymour-Jackson, the Company’s Chief Executive, has resigned.

Professor Andrew Wathey, Vice-Chancellor of Northumbria University and Chair of the Student Finance England Stakeholder Forum, said: “Two recent reports, the first from Professor Sir Deian Hopkin and the subsequent report from the NAO, identified a number of serious problems with the handling of student loan applications last year. Both reports made it quite clear that changes were necessary to ensure that there would not be a repeat of last year’s problems. Many students were let down by the SLC and this should not be allowed to happen again.

“Today’s news marks a line in the sand and the focus must now be on ensuring that the SLC is ready to process applications and answer customer enquiries during the peak months this summer. The changes, strengthening the Company’s leadership, should reassure students, universities and other stakeholders represented by the Forum, and provide essential support to the practical steps currently being taken by the Company. The appointment of Professor Sir Deian Hopkin as interim Chair of the SLC is a very positive step in this regard.”

Alice Hynes, Chief Executive Officer of GuildHE said: “GuildHE has worked with the SLC through the Stakeholder forum set up by David Lammy.  We look forward to supporting Sir Deian and SLC colleagues to continue making the necessary improvements.”

Notes

1.    For further information on today’s announcement, visit: https://nds.coi.gov.uk/clientmicrosite/Content/Detail.aspx?ClientId=431&NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=413512&SubjectId=36 

2.    Established in March, the Stakeholder Forum is committed to engaging with the SLC, challenging the board and senior team as appropriate and acting as a channel for feeding sector concerns through to the Company. The Forum is chaired by Professor Andrew Wathey, Vice-Chancellor of Northumbria University, and consists of representatives from the NUS, UUK, GuildHE, AoC, UCAS and AMOSSHE.

3.    It was announced in March that an independent check by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) would take place to ensure that the SLC is ready to process applications this year.  A copy of the PwC report can be found at: https://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/corporate/docs/s/10-997-slc-health-check-review

4.    The Hopkin Review (December 2009) was commissioned by the Department and Company. To download, visit: https://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/corporate/docs/d/09-1580-delivery-of-financial-support-to-students.pdf   The National Audit Office (NAO) report was published in March 2010. Visit: https://www.nao.org.uk/publications/0910/student_finance.aspx

5.    GuildHE is a recognised representative organisation within the higher education sector.

6.    GuildHE members, lead institutions which emphasise a strong focus on teaching alongside research, are among the most dynamic and fastest-growing institutions in higher education.  For a list of GuildHE institutions, please click here

 

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