Higher Education funding arrangements for Northern Ireland

To all members of Upper Sixth and their parents - 12 September 2011

The Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, today detailed the Higher Education tuition fees and funding arrangements for local students in Northern Ireland  

  • The NI Executive agreed on 8 September that tuition fees would be kept at current levels, subject only to inflationary increase
  • This means that the maximum fee will be £3,465 per annum for entry in September 2012
  • This applies to all NI and non-GB EU students
  • Legislation will be brought to enable HE institutions in NI to set higher fees for students from England, Scotland and Wales. These are not expected to exceed £9000
  • NI students who attend university in the rest of the UK will continue to be able to access a tuition fee loan to cover the full cost of their tuition fees, up to a maximum of £9000
  • The Department may have to review this decision for students entering Higher Education in future years
  • Other student support, including maintenance grants, loans, repayment arrangements, will all remain unchanged for entry into Higher Education in 2012
  • Support for students studying in the Republic of Ireland will remain unchanged for 2012, but this may be reviewed for subsequent years
  • No eligible student will have to pay fees before starting their course, or while they are studying. They have the option to take a student loan for fees and will only start repaying this after they have left Higher Education and are earning more than the earnings threshold - £15,795 in 2012
  • Further information can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/tuitionfees

R.E. Cotter.
HE Adviser