James Quinn of the Student Finance Centre was voted Student Money Adviser of the Year 2012 in at the annual conference of the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) this month. The award was for an individual adviser who has excelled in their field and made a contribution to their students individually, to student money advice more generally or who has gone over and above the call of duty.
James was nominated by the Student Finance Team for his commitment and proactive approach in helping students. He has successfully appealed a high number of cases where students have been incorrectly denied tuition fee loans and maintenance grants and has interviewed over 180 students to help them get on top of their finances, including giving detailed budgeting advice.
The inaugural Student Money Advice Awards were open to all 608 NASMA members. James was shortlisted alongside two other student advisers for the award by a panel of judges made up of the NASMA Board members and received first prize at a gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool.
The selection panel said they were impressed with James’ proactive approach, his desire to assist students displayed through training undertaken in his own time, his positive contribution to student retention and implementation of new systems to improve the experience of colleagues and students.
James also implemented a comprehensive referral and tracking system to monitor students who have received budgeting advice so that he can follow up with them and ensure they are still managing their finances later on in their university life. This system has proved to be very effective and is now a tool the centre use to measure their impact and effectiveness as a service and make sure what they are doing is working.
James said that he was delighted to receive first prize and that it reflected the dedication of the team to delivering a top class service to students.
“These days more than ever it’s important that students understand what they are entitled to and that they manage their money effectively. I get real pleasure from ensuring that students get the best advice and support.”
The Vice-chancellor Professor John Craven sent his congratulations to James.
He said: “It confirms to me that we have an absolutely first class student financial advice team, and this is hugely important to us and to our students in the new environment”
James will be continuing his good work with current students by introducing the ‘Student Finance Roadshow.’ From October James will be travelling around the university campus during the year and bringing the Student Finance Centre service directly to students. The road show will promote the Student Finance service and will highlight financial responsibility. James will be aiming to give students information on all forms of finance such as credit referencing, debts and loan sharks.
He said: “There will also be fun games to get the students involved but ultimately the aim is to get students to be confident in managing and understanding their money.”