Derek Ross, Executive Director, Operations, Student Loans Company (SLC)

There is one simple step students should take to ensure their finances are in place by start of the next academic year – Apply Now, says Derek Ross, Executive Director, Operations, Student Loans Company (@SF_England) 

In 2020, SLC processed and paid more students than ever before and the next academic year looks set to be another record-breaker. Data published by UCAS showed 42.6 percent of all 18-year-olds had applied for university by the main January deadline, which is up from 39.5 percent on last year. At the Student Loans Company, we have already experienced a significant increase in applications, with applications up by more than 10% on last year.

Given the current economic climate, SLC’s role in enabling access to further and higher education has never been more important. It is our responsibility to ensure students have the finance in place to help them achieve their academic aspirations; and, so that students have the best possible start to their course, we want that finance to be in place by the start of the academic year.

We are looking very carefully at how the increasing applicant numbers may impact on the delivery of our services this year. Undoubtably, the high volume of students coming through the system will put pressure on us. This is particularly true at a time when we continue to prioritise the health and safety of colleagues by supporting them to work remotely due to Covid-19. We expect that over our peak periods this year we will very busy – in particular, we could see longer call queues, meaning customers may have to wait for longer than usual to speak with us. I am grateful for the patience that has been shown by our customers to date and I hope they will be reassured to know we are doing everything we can to ensure that any impact is minimal.

There is one simple step undergraduate students and potential students can take to ensure they have the student finance in place before term start this year – and that is to apply online now.

Applications are open for undergraduate students in England and students in Wales will be able to apply from late April. By applying before the deadlines (21 May for new students and 25 June for returning students) students can be confident their finance will be in place when their studies start.

Students should apply now even if they are unsure what course they will be doing or what university they will attend. If students wait for a confirmed offer before applying for student finance, it may be too late to have student finance in place by term start.

Applications take six to eight weeks to process so students do not need to contact us during this time to check on the status of their application. We will contact them, or their sponsors, should we require any additional information to support their application.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have provided support to customers by making additional information available online. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to provide extra information to address some of the key questions that we know new and returning applicants have at this time of year. So, if you are a student, a parent or sponsor and have any questions for us, I would urge you to visit our FAQs or get in touch with us by social media, and of course, apply now to ensure your student finance is in place for start of the next academic year.

Derek Ross, Executive Director, Operations, Student Loans Company (SLC)

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 hours 4 minutes ago

RT @FENews: Landmark skills training report calls for wide-ranging reboot of UK system: @BritishChambers and @Indeed's major new report is…
View Original Tweet

Amazing Apprenticeships added a new event 2 hours

Time for Change; Bridging the gap between school and...

How much do students really know about employment opportunities? How prepared are they for the workplace? Do they know which local employers are...

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page