We have concluded that we do not wish to operate this
procedure. The University has a long-established loan
scheme for assisting students in short-term difficulty
which is both quicker and less onerous than what the SLC
In addition, we cannot see what the University's role would
be as it is obvious that the SLC wishes to maintain the
decision-making function. We are not resourced to
pre-filter student hardship cases on behalf of the SLC and
I feel most uneasy about passing highly sensitive personal
documents to a commercial organisation, especially where no
reassurances have been made about DPA compliance.
It would appear that the most efficient method would be for
the SLC and the student to have a direct discourse; the
student can choose to transmit the documents and the SLC
can choose whether to act on them. We simply cannot see
what value the University's involvement adds, especially
when we are already stretched dealing with other hardship
cases and no guidelines have been produced.
What leads the SLC to feel that eviction and threatened
withdrawal are *the two* measures of student hardship? What
about inability to feed dependant children, repossession of
property (bailifs or lenders), inability to pay for
childcare, urgent house repairs and so on. Evictions are
exceedingly rare and are often not to do with non-payment of
rent. Even then, being evicted does not mean that the
student is in hardship - they may simply have chosen to not
pay their rent!
My concern essentially is that the SLC is acting ultra
vires. To the best of my knowledge, the SLC does not
possess any experience or expertise in recognising or
understanding student hardship. On the other hand,
universities do. A system where universities passed
decisions to the SLC based on their professional judgement
would be workable, helpful and not lead to the
unnecessary proliferation of sensitive documents. I regret
that the proposed (and now advertised) one is not.
P.S. I have cc'ed this into two salient mailbase lists for
the interest of colleagues elsewhere.
> I note below responses to your questions. I will put something on the
> admin database today regarding this as SLC are receiving numerous
> calls/emails on this topic.
Head of Student Advice & Welfare Services
University of the West of England
Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane
Bristol, BS16 1QY
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Tel : (0117) 344 2822
Fax : (0117) 344 2895