To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with the Office for Students on the effect on student protections of the Student Loans Company gathering evidence from applicants' social media as part of its loan approval process.
5 November 2018
The Student Loans Company (SLC) does not gather evidence from applicants' social media as part of its standard loan approval process. The SLC operates extensive controls to reduce the risk of fraud, and from time to time SLC checks publicly available information, including publicly available information on applicants’ social media, as part of counter fraud and audit measures. This is a proportionate and effective way of detecting and preventing certain types of fraud. In September, a representative of the Office for Students attended a meeting of the SLC’s Vulnerable Students Stakeholder Group, of which the department is a member, to discuss the way in which these checks are carried out.