In July I applied for a Career Development Loan to take up my MA in October but come the day of enrolment a week ago, I hadn't heard anything. I rang the lender and was told that my loan application has been stalled because of problems at the Learning and Skills Council.
According to the CDL lender, several thousand applicants for CDLs are having difficulties securing finance for their courses because the Learning and Skills Council arbitrarily de-registered hundreds of reputable colleges from the register of accepted learning providers. All the learning providers were told in February 2007 they had to re-register by April.
The lender say there is now an enormous backlog, at their busiest time, of applications for loans that they cannot approve because the LSC have not yet processed the providers' re-registrations. Processing the CDL application depends entirely on the computer system set up by the LSC and they cannot log on to it without the learning provider being registered. In my case, the college sent their re-registration in time.
The lender also said that only 70 or so of formerly over 800 institutions have been re-registered for CDL processing so far and they too are experiencing extreme frustration at the progress of the LSC. They advised me to take this matter to the highest level. In their words, it would be appropriate to take this up with a government minister as there are thousands of other prospective students in the same situation as me.
It was interesting that in the speech given by the registrar on commencement, she said this situation has still not been resolved but that students in this position could begin their courses.