SAAS Annual Report and Accounts 2013-2014 - page 6

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Chief Executive’s Foreword
In 2013-14 we saw a significant investment of £2m by the Scottish Government in SAAS
which we focused on resourcing our front-line customer service. This investment is
recognition that the £800m support package that we administer for Scottish students must
be efficiently and effectively delivered to achieve the objective of preventing finance being
a barrier to higher education.
As a result, I believe that we have delivered a step-change in our services to students. We have significantly
improved the time it takes to turnaround applications and associated documentation. We have also
ensured that our students are able, readily, to contact us on the phone when they need help and kept our
Helpline open longer during our peak business times.
We are proud of the improvements in our service delivery. The service-levels can be seen in a significant
drop in the number of customer complaints. More importantly these have been reflected in the feedback
we get directly from both students and also college and university staff.
These service standards will be maintained as we start to process applications for the 2014-15 academic session.
But we are not complacent and recognise that much still needs to be done to improve the efficiency of
the service and to modernise to meet the demands of our customers in a digital age.
We have launched a service modernisation programme to improve the experience of the students and
partners’ interaction with the Agency. This will be done in close partnership with students, colleges and
universities.
The good service standards of 2013-14 were certainly assisted by a record number of early applications
by our ‘guarantee date’ of 30 June. So we will once again undertake a concentrated awareness campaign
with the support of student representatives.
We will also continue to work closely with the Scottish Government to deliver policy changes and in
particular implement significant changes to post-graduate support in time for the 2015-16 academic year.
It is an exciting time for the Agency and all of those who work in SAAS look forward to working with our
partners to deliver the best possible service to our students.
David Wallace
Chief Executive
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