We’re just looking at these ILR fields. What do providers with HE provision record in which fields? Is a bus pass “Near Cash” or “Other”? It’s very unclear.
The Cash bit says in the HESA specification;
Any bursary/scholarship/award that is paid to the student, where there is no restriction on the use of the award. This will include BACS payments, cheques, cash awards and any means tested hardship funds that fall outside of the Office for Students Student Opportunity allocation.
Is the Student Opportunity allocation still a thing? Is that the same as the OfS Premium to support successful student outcomes? If so, how does that impact on what you record in these fields? Are you not supposed to record it if the cash/alternative came from there?
I would code them as “other”: travel costs are listed as an example in this category. If you were topping up a prepaid travel card like an Oyster I might go for “near cash” in that circumstance as slightly different.
It’s been a couple of years since I’ve managed the HESA return (and we don’t fill these fields complete in our ILR) but I don’t remember having to state which bursary payments were made from SO allocations and which weren’t. Everything to do with SOA was dealt with via the OFFA monitoring returns.