STUDENTS from Kirklees starting university this month could be left without their loans – but the University of Huddersfield is already taking steps to help any students who are struggling.
The Student Loans Company (SLC) yesterday confirmed up to 60,000 UK students may not receive full funding because of delays in administration.
But University of Huddersfield Vice- Chancellor Prof Bob Cryan said last night the university would do all it could to ease the financial plight of those students facing a cash crisis.
He said: “It’s too early to gauge how many of our students will be affected, but we are putting in a contingency and if students are facing hardship we will find a way of helping them.
“Anyone in this position should contact Student Support and we will find a way to help them through those critical first few weeks. We do not want them to struggle and we are in talks with the Student Union on this.’’
Student Union president Junaid Ejaz has already heard of teenagers having problems getting their loans.
“The students I’ve met so far have been having great difficulties,’’ he said. “It’s just taking forever. It isn’t great news, especially during the recession when nobody has much money.
“The students are getting crippled from both sides because there aren’t many jobs around for them to earn some extra money either.”
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman slammed the SLC as ‘unfit for purpose.’
He told the Examiner: “This is an organisation that has a very top-heavy idea of administration. Every time I look at it, it doesn’t seem fit for purpose.
“I just don’t know if they know how to run an effective organisation.
Students from poorer families who apply for ‘means-tested’ loans are most likely to be affected. The SLC says some of these students would just receive ‘basic funding.’
The SLC has so far received just over one million applications, but has processed 832,000. Payments are not made until students register at the beginning of term.
SLC deputy chief executive Derek Ross said: “There are a number of students whose support isn’t in place. What happens is rather than say ‘you won’t be getting anything while this is sorted out’ they get the initial payment.”
Have you been affected by delays? Contact Katie Grant on 01484 437728 or email firstname.lastname@example.org