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|Table 1: SFE calls at SLC Contact Centre|
|Average speed of answer (Minutes:seconds)|
Calls are only routed to Response Handling when there is an advisor available to take calls under the terms of the outsourcing arrangement but that means that there are no queues at the outsourced provider and any queuing and wait time is always associated with the SLC in-house contact centre. The average speed to answer an SFE call at Response Handling in each of the last 12 months is indicated in the following table:
|Table 2 : SFE calls directed to Response Handling|
|Month||Average speed of answer (Minutes:seconds)|
(1) Average Speed of Answer is calculated from when the customer enters the contact centre queue, having completed any prior identification, verification or other menu options on the IVR (interactive voice response system,) and ends when an agent answers.
(2) Response Handling outsourcing was utilised to answer SFE related application calls only.
(3) Although the figures provided are for SFE related calls only, SLC in-house Contact Centre resource is utilised across a range of services covering customers with applications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and borrowers across the UK.
Professor Sir Deian Hopkin's review of the delivery of financial support to students in England by the Student Loans Company for the academic year 2009-10 recommended that the company should reconsider its resourcing model for the contact centres. The SLC has accepted this recommendation and is taking urgent steps to implement improvements.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much has been raised through helpline charges by the Student Loans Company in each year between 2004-05 and 2009-10; and what proportion of such funds was raised from calls which were (a) answered by a person and (b) unanswered in each such year. 
|SLC revenue from telephone charges by financial year|
|Financial year||Telephone charge revenue amount (£000)|
|Financial year||Net telephone expenditure (£000)|
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions representatives of his Department have had with the Student Loans Company (SLC) during 2009 on a geographical telephone number for enquiries to the SLC. 
Mr. Lammy: Ministers and officials are in regular contact with the Student Loans Company (SLC) on a wide range of issues, including telephones. During 2009 there have been no discussions specifically about a geographical phone number for inquiries to the SLC.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of students studying for a foundation degree in (a) university and (b) college are from a widening participation background; and if he will make a statement. 
The proportion of entrants from low participation neighbourhoods (LPNs) is one measure which the Department uses to monitor widening participation in higher education, along with socio-economic classification
and the proportion of entrants from state school. LPNs are defined as wards which are ranked in the bottom 20 per cent. with regard to participation rates of young people (under 21) in higher education. LPNs have been used as a preferred measure of widening participation in this answer due to the high level of unknown data for socio-economic classification (approximately 50 per cent.) and proportion of entrants from state schools (approximately 40 per cent.) for foundation degree entrants.
Foundation degrees are part of a range of measures, including more part-time study, more work-based study
and more fast-track degrees that we are utilising in order to attract a greater diversity of students. Widening participation in higher education is about identifying and nurturing talent, wherever it is found, with schools, colleges and higher education institutions working together to ensure that all those with the ability and potential to benefit from higher education are able and prepared to do so.
|UK-domicile foundation degree entrants from low participation neighbourhoods (LPNs). English HEIs and FECs. Academic year 2007-08|
|Institution type||Age group||Number entrants||Percentage from LPN||Number entrants||Percentage from LPN||Number entrants||Percentage from LPN|
1. Institution type refers to the institution the student is registered with.
2. 'Unknowns' includes those with unknown postcode or date of birth.
3. 'Young' refers to students under the age of 21 at the commencement of their course.
4. 'Mature' refers to students aged 21 and over at the commencement of their course.
5. HEI: Higher education institution, FEC: Further education college
6. The numbers in the table have been derived using area groupings which are different to the latest POLAR methodology used to calculate some of the Performance Indicators in Higher Education (published by HESA).
Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what proportion of applications for disabled students allowance in the academic year 2009-10 which were refused have been appealed against; and what proportion of appeals were upheld. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 15 December 2009]: Continuing students will apply for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSAs) through their local authority (LA) and will appeal to that LA where an application has been refused.
For academic year 2009/10, the Student Loans Company (SLC) is responsible for processing applications for DSAs only from new students. I am advised SLC has not received any appeals from those who have submitted unsuccessful applications for DSA.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 5 November 2009, Official Report, column 1241W, on students: finance, which stakeholders his Department will consult. 
Mr. Lammy: The review has launched its first call for evidence, asking for views on the current system of higher education funding and the key trends the review should be considering when thinking about future policy. All those with an interest in higher education are encouraged to submit evidence in this process.
The review has also had the first meeting of its advisory forum, which is made up of key stakeholders from business, academia and student groups. A list of organisations represented on the advisory forum can be found on the review's website.
Mr. Willetts: 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. 
Mr. Lammy: 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.
Mr. Willetts: 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. 
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