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Is there a need for a separate Aspire card?
No - some institutions prefer to add the functionality of the Aspire scheme to their own student I.D. card and this poses no problems for us. A PIN number is then associated with the students I.D. card in the same way as if a separate Aspire card had been issued. Other universities see the advantages of a separate Aspire card in respect of marketing the scheme and highlighting the perceived value of the financial awards being made.
Does the scheme have to be branded as Aspire?
Again, it is entirely at the University's discretion. We are more than happy for the institution to use their own preferred branding – possibly to highlight the specific benefits and/or requirements of their particular scheme (e.g. the "UEL Progress Bursary" and the "Southampton Entitlement").
How is the scheme marketed?
Obviously all elements of branding and communication are agreed with the appropriate people in the University but the planning, production and implementation of all marketing is carried out by the Aspire team. A range of media is employed - again, working in close consultation with the University - but these would include branding of the Aspire card (if that option is selected), pre-registration information, leaflets, posters, websites, emails, SMS and any other methods deemed appropriate.
How is communication with scheme participants maintained?
Apart from general marketing, we maintain regular contact with individual account holders by sending specific emails / SMS messages. These will feature outstanding balance information as well as targeted offers and promotions relating to their individual status (eg. year, course, purchase history, etc.).
Are there any data protection implications?
As part of the registration process, we ask that a specific question is included for students to confirm that they are happy for the University to share their details with the Aspire system in order to facilitate the operation of their account. We ensure that the rules of the Data Protection Act are fully complied with.