Publicly funded educational institutions normally charge two levels of fee:
a lower 'home' fee and a higher 'overseas' fee. Private sector
institutions often have only one level of tuition fee, which all
students must pay.
Whether you pay a 'home' or 'overseas' fee depends on whether you
meet certain criteria.
Please read the information on Home or Overseas fees? before looking at our explanation of the fees regulations/guidance for your relevant area
of the UK.
Remember that, in the context of the fees regulations/guidance,
certain terms mean what is explained for them in the 'definitions' and
not what you might interpret from an ‘everyday’ understanding of the
There are two sets of fees regulations, namely The Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 and The Student Fees (Qualifying Courses and Persons) (England) Regulations 2007, both of which have been amended by subsequent regulations. Broadly speaking, the 'Fees and Awards' regulations provide for students on postgraduate courses and the 'Qualifying Courses and Persons' regulations provide for students on ‘qualifying courses’ funded by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England), mainly undergraduates. Under each set of regulations, institutions must not charge higher than the ‘home’ fee to any student who comes within any of the categories in the regulations. Currently, there is no actual difference between the two sets of regulations.
In England, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) fund FE courses. They publish fee assessment guidance on who they will allow to be charged a 'home' fee:
- EFA funds eligible students who are aged 16-18 years (excluding those who are on Apprenticeship courses) on 31 August in the funding year in which they start their course; and
- SFA funds students who are aged 19 years or over (and those who are on Apprenticeship courses, aged 16-18 years) on 31 August in the funding year in which they start their course; and
- a 'funding year' runs from 1 August in one year to 31 July in the calendar year which immediately follows. If you are 18 years old on 1 August prior to when you start the course (eg your lectures begin on 1 October) but you become 19 years old before 31 August then you will be funded by SFA not EFA.