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Annual Report andAccounts 2014-2015

StudentAwardsAgency Scotland

05

2014‑2015WASAN IMPORTANTTRANSITIONALYEAR FOR SAAS

I believe that once

again we were able to

demonstrate a good

quality and efficient

service to our students.

A record number of

full‑time,undergraduate

students took

advantage of our

end‑June‘Guarantee

Date’ to ensure that

their funding packages

were in place before

the start of their courses.

We again ensured we

met this guarantee for

all students and we

also maintained a high

level of response to our

customers through our

contact centre.

But more importantly our stakeholders in colleges and

universities, and students themselves, were positive about the

delivery of the 2014‑2015 application

cycle.We

have put in

place local student forums and during the year these have,

rightly, focused on how we improve services to specific groups

of students and on the future of Student Awards Agency

Scotland (SAAS) services.

One such area has been how we improve our digital services.

Work is now underway to achieve this, but in the meantime

we are also squeezing out additional functionality from our

existing systems.This means that for the first time students

applying now for the 2015‑2016 year are able to apply; provide

supporting documentation; receive messages; and receive their

award letter without the need for any exchange of

paper.We

recognise that this is just the start of that journey.

The Agency’s new branding has also been developed with,

and in response to, students to underline the key funding

and professional service we deliver. During the year we also

strengthened our management structure; strengthened the

external expertise on our Board by the recruitment of new

Non‑Executive Board Members; and forged new partnerships

with the higher education sector.

Exceptionally during 2014‑2015, we have delivered these

outcomes against the background of the relocation of the

Agency.We

moved from our leased building at South Gyle

Business Park to take up occupancy at Saughton House as part

of the Scottish Government’s Estates Strategy. SAAS had been

located at Gyleview House since before its inception as an

Executive Agency in 1994. So this was a major undertaking by

an organisation not used to estates

management.We

gave a

commitment that this move would not impact on our customers

and we are proud that we were able to deliver that.

As always, this could only be achieved by the hard work and

commitment by all the Agency’s employees for which I am

hugely grateful.

David Wallace

Chief Executive

23 July 2015