PG and US Loans Administrator

Durham, United Kingdom
£19,612 - £21,814
07 May 2021
End of advertisement period
21 May 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Academic Office

Grade 4: - £19,612 - £21,814
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 21-May-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are welcoming, collegiate and inclusive.    

OUR VALUES: We are motivated, inquisitive, challenging, rigorous and innovative.

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide a comprehensive service and deliver the efficient administration and governance of the University.

Overall family purpose

  • Deliver direct and indirect services to stakeholders.
  • Provide advice and answer queries as part of an enquiry-desk/help-desk function.
  • Respond to and manage requests for information and resources.
  • Deliver services to meet regulatory requirements and procedures.
  • Plan and deliver a joined-up approach to University business and people services.
  • Align business processes and services to meet operational and strategic policy objectives. 
  • Deliver business processes to ensure effective management, governance and the economic viability of the University.
  • Encourage, collaborate and participate in the development of productive cross-institution relationships and working.
  • Provide excellent professional services that meet strategic and operational goals and business needs.
  • Carry out monitoring, analysis, development and planning to design new services and service updates for continuous improvement whilst meeting changes in regulations.
  • Engage with specialist professionals, consultants, and suppliers to exchange knowledge and facilitate partnership working.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.
  • Align and deliver programmes and activities to meet operational and strategic objectives to enhance the stakeholder experience.
  • Engage and encourage participation with external professionals, schools, alumni and donors.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering Professional Services across the University;
  • A joined-up approach to University professional services, regardless of location or line management;
  • A culture and practice of continuous improvement;
  • Design services that meet business need;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.

The Department and role purpose    

The Student Immigration and Funding Service (SIFS) works with internal colleagues and external bodies to provide high quality advice and support relating to immigration legislation and financial support for both undergraduate and postgraduate students and applicants. 

The Service is part of the Academic Office. The Academic Office provides a professional administrative support service to staff, students and potential students of Durham University.

The Academic Registrar is the head of the department and is responsible to the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) for its management. The following services fall under the remit of the Academic Office:

  • Access and Engagement
  • Curriculum, Learning and Assessment
  • Recruitment and Admissions
  • Student Immigration and Funding
  • Student Registry

All of the services are based at either the Palatine Centre or Mountjoy Centre in Durham City.

The post holder will support the Student Immigration and Funding Service in delivering a comprehensive and professional support service to students; with specific responsibility for work on US Federal Student Aid, NE First Credit Union loans and Postgraduate Student Loans for eligible students.

The post holder will play a key part in the supporting a customer-focussed, efficient and professional service dedicated to ensuring that students applying to and attending Durham University receive excellent financial support.

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide a responsive and proactive support service for students and staff.
  • Focus on checking student loan, credit union loan and federal aid requirements to ensure the delivery of excellence with the frontline stakeholder experience.
  • Respond to service users answering and recording standard queries and bookings for activities and/or events.
  • Contribute to the planning of team activities, work and deadlines to ensure the smooth running and timeliness of service.
  • Solve day-to-day routine problems and source background information within the role.
  • Record data and information accurately and provide reports as required to team members and the Student Loans and Financial Aid Manager.
  • Operate an enquiry service and process requests finding solutions or escalating queries where necessary.
  • Flexible in approach to accommodate the needs of team members and/or service users.
  • Assist team members to organise, plan and prepare for events, meetings and activities.
  • Liaise with internal and external suppliers, contractors and professional specialists to pass on information (e.g. US Government, NE First Credit Union and the Student Loans Council).
  • Apply professional, US Federal Aid and Student Loans regulatory procedures and processes and use of systems.
  • Liaise and collaborate with staff in other areas of the organisation to ensure a seamless, smooth and efficient service.
  • Resolve queries and requests for information and advice and escalate more specialist and complex queries or issues to more experienced team members.

Role responsibilities:

  • Work with the Student Loans and Financial Aid Manager to ensure the smooth running of administrative processes to support people and business activities.
  • Apply standard professional and recognised regulatory procedures to process, check and reconcile anomalies within data and information sets and administer the US Federal Aid and Postgraduate Student Loans service for interested students
  • Compile, record, store and archive data and information, which relates to Credit Union, US and PG loans students, to ensure the accuracy and safety of information.
  • Liaise with representatives from other service areas, professional organisations (US Government and SLC) and agencies where necessary.
  • Use standard office-based digital systems (e.g. Microsoft Office, Banner, Oracle Financials, web editing tools etc.), tools and equipment to carry out data recording, communications and networking; ensuring that students are correctly recorded in the appropriate system and payments to students are made in a timely and efficient way.
  • Provide service and support for networks, committees and meetings, to draft and distribute documents and communications in standard professional formats; notifying students of receipt of loan checks as appropriate.
  • Process and update applications for financial support as appropriate.
  • Liaise with internal and external suppliers and specialists with the organisation, planning and delivery of services, activities and events.
  • Be responsible for organising annual audit of US Loans provision and administration to meet annual US government compliance targets, understanding high risk nature of this audit and non-compliance.
  • Act as the key liaison point in relation to Private educational Loan providers funding students, and complete the relevant administrative processes; notably Sally Mae (for US students), Veterans Affairs funding in the US and NE First Credit Union in the UK.
  • Complete and maintain University records for students funded from other international (usually governmental) funders who require ‘certification’ of enrolment and/or progression, and develop new processes as new funders or forms are received from students.
  • Any other reasonable duties; in particular supporting the SIFS reception desk in line with an agreed rota.

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification.

In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application. 

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

What you are required to submit

  1. A CV.
  2. A covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in all of the requirements set out in the Person Specification and Realising Your Potential Approach Information.
  3. Examples of how you satisfy the essential criteria in the person specification, this will require completion of the 'Questionnaire' application section.

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application will not be considered.

Contact details

For further information please contact: Michael Parks, Head of Student Immigration & Funding Service, Email:  m.a.parks@durham.ac.uk

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria

  1. Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  2. Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  3. Five GCSE’s at least Grade C or level four (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent experience).
  4. Evidence of personal development to maintain skills.
  5. Demonstrable ability to provide advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues.
  6. Ability to solve problems as part of a team and resolve straightforward issues. 
  7. Strong numeracy skills

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience of budget and financial monitoring with a working knowledge of Oracle Financials
  • Possess a working knowledge of Banner Student records system
  • Experience of working with the Student Loans system
  • Have knowledge and experience of producing and editing web pages
  • Experience of analysing and manipulating data and presenting relevant management information using relational databases and spreadsheets
  • Post-16 qualification or equivalent experience
  • Relevant administrative experience in a busy office environment
  • Experience of working on the front line with service delivery, and the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines without compromising on quality.

Realising Your Potential Approach

The Realising Your Potential Approach clarifies the behaviours expected to be demonstrated by all staff across Professional Services in the University regardless of their role. Along with the core responsibilities, role responsibilities and the person specification, the Realising Your Potential Approach behavioural indicators are used to inform the recruitment and selection process. Further information on the Realising Your Potential Approach is available here.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.

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