Stakeholder Forum

Stakeholder Forum is a strategic Forum to enable the HE and FE sectors to engage with SLC to provide advice, challenge and support with risks and issues affecting the delivery of SLC's student finance services as well as helping SLC to develop as an organisation.

The purpose of the group is to:

  • Support SLC to transform as an organisation and deliver an excellent service
  • Undertake strategic thinking across the sectors
  • Support SLC on major issues and mitigate business risks
  • Provide a policy feedback loop to government


Chair - Northumbria University

Andrew Wathey

Academic Registrars Council

Sharon Harrison-Barker


Universities UK

Jovan Luzajic


National Union of Students

Shelly Asquith



Kate Wicklow

Association of Colleges

Julian Gravatt


Association of Managers of Student Services in Higher Education

Jayne Aldridge


Higher Education Funding Council for England

Jack Smith


Department for Education

Joanna Rodin / Matthew Hassan 


Association of Heads of University Administration

Sue Grant


Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Helen Thorne


Higher Education Statistics Agency

Andy Youell


British Universities Finance Directors Group

Stephen Avery


Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Mark Dawes


Welsh Government

Christopher Williams


Universities Wales

Debra Thorne


Higher Education Funding Council for Wales

Leanne Holborn


Student Loans Company

Steve Lamey


Student Loans Company

Derek Ross


Student Loans Company

Paul Smith


Student Loans Company

John Wilde


Meeting dates

The Forum meet around 4 times per year, before, during and after the main student finance application cycle.

Key agenda points from the previous meetings

27 January 2017

The group discussed MI information for AY 2016/17. Members noted the good performance and the various initiatives that have been put in place to help improve results. Members received an update from the CEO and were consulted on SLC 2020 strategy. In addition to this, members received updates on SLCs work with stakeholders and on a forward look to the new Postgraduate Loans products for Wales and Northern Ireland.

11 August 2016

The group discussed MI information for AY 2015/16 and 2016/17. Members noted the continued good performance for both services. The group received an update from the CEO on current and future strategy plans for SLC.  Members also received an overview from DfE on the ongoing situation following the Brexit vote and the change from BIS. In addition to this members received updates from ESNR and UCAS.

8 June 2016

The group discussed MI information for AY 2015/16 and 2016/17. Members noted the continued good performance for both services. The group received an update from the Deputy CEO on current initiatives and future plans for SLC, as well as recent media interest. Members also received an overview from BIS on the recent White Paper and the Teaching and Excellence Framework and were invited to comment and collaborate on implementation moving forward. In addition to this SLC updated on the ongoing situation regarding outstanding balance resolution situations and on SLC readiness for the launch of the Postgraduate Loans product.

2 March 2016

The Stakeholder Forum were provided with an update on business priorities and key successes from across SLC. Members provided their perspective on current sector issues and patterns and trends in provider and applicant behaviour. The group also participated in an extended discussion on Postgraduate Loans, covering policy, provider engagement and service development.

11 November 2015

The Stakeholder Forum were updated on and discussed key SLC priorities, including the switch from grants to loans for new English students for 2016/17, the pending Government response to the Postgraduate loans consultation and planned SLC engagement activity (should the introduction of Postgraduate loans be confirmed), and progress towards upgrading SLC’s IT systems supporting CLASS. The Forum agreed to support plans for executive-level endorsement of the incorporation of SLC repayment information into Higher Education Providers’ student engagement channels. There was an extended discussion and debate on the BIS Green Paper on Higher Education, which focused broadly on the following three aspects of the consultation; the Teaching Excellence Framework, market entry and exit and sector architecture and the regulatory framework.  

26 August 2015

The Stakeholder Forum were given an update on key developments from across SLC, including policy commissioning for AY 16/17 and work to focus SLC priorities on critical technical aspects, to ensure the safe and secure delivery of future services.

The Forum discussed plans to support SLC at an executive level to take forward initiatives for greater collaboration between SLC and Higher Education Providers to improve student repayments.

28 May 2015

The Stakeholder Forum received an update on service performance noting that AY2014/15 had been a very successful year and early statistics on AY2015/16 were showing delivery ahead of the forecast profile. The Forum received an update on Transformation including confirmation that SLC had now 2 services approved by GDS having passed the GDS Digital Service Assessment. The Forum discussed the pilot work on the reconciliation of HEP balances and the establishment of a Task Group to take this forward. HESA outlined their work on student destination and outcomes data and work on the New Data Landscape.

01 April 2015

Forum members were given an update from the Public Accounts Committee regarding Alternative Providers including the strong view expressed by PAC regarding the importance of ‘getting money back’ and that this was a responsibility of everyone within the wider HE ecosystem. The Forum also discussed SLC engagement with Alternative Providers and the need to ensure they were linked in to appropriate forums and discussions. DfES provided an outline of the HE Bill for Wales and the increased role for HEFCW in Access Plans and Quality Assessment.

23 October 2014

The Stakeholder Forum received an update on SLC’s Transformation Programme including work on the Process Management Model and benefits realisation. BIS outlined the development of a model for Sharia Law compliant loans and plans for further feasibility work The Forum also received analysis of the UCAS 2014 end of cycle position and NUS presented research findings on Student Finance in Wales. An update was given on the Courses Management System and further communications to the sector were agreed.