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, and guidance, for your relevant area
of the UK.
Remember that, in the context of the fees regulations, and guidance,
certain terms mean what is explained for them in the Definitions and
not what you might interpret from an ‘everyday’ understanding of the
Institutions must not charge higher than the ‘home’ fee to any student who comes within at least one of the categories in the fees regulations.
In England, for 2016/17 Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) jointly 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.
In April 2017, EFA and SFA merged to form Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). As one body, they will continue to fund FE courses in 2017/18. Any references here to 'EFA' and/or 'SFA' will eventually be replaced with 'ESFA'.