Northern Ireland: HE fee status

Last modified: 21 May 2024

Before you look at this page, you should read our introductory information about 'Home' and 'Overseas' fees and find out if your course is higher education (HE) or further education (FE).

On this page special definitions are used for some words. They don't have the meanings used in everyday life, because they are the definitions used in regulations. Look at the Definitions section (at the bottom of this page) to find out about them.

 

Higher education (HE) courses at HE institutions

Last modified: 21 May 2024

Higher education (HE) courses include HNC and HND courses, undergraduate degrees (for example, BA, BSc, BEd), and postgraduate degrees (for example, MA, MSc, PhD). 

The rules about who pays ‘home’ fees for higher education courses in Northern Ireland are set by the Northern Ireland Assembly (they are not set by UKCISA). They are set out in the following regulations:

The regulations identify all the different ‘categories’ of student who can insist on paying a ‘home’ rate of fee. They set out all the requirements you need to meet, to fit one those categories. If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you a ‘home’ fee rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into (if you fit more than one, that is not a problem).

The regulations can be difficult to understand, so UKCISA has provided this information to help you. 

In some categories in Northern Ireland, some students pay a higher rate of ‘home’ fee than others (for example, it might be £9,250 instead of £4,750 for an undergraduate course). If this applies to a category you are looking at, you will find information about it towards the end of the category. It is not true of all categories.

There are lots of different categories to look at. Most of them are described in this pdf guide: 





The remaining categories are for very niche groups. They are described below, numbered 1 to 12 - open up the section if you think one of them might apply to you. 

1. Long Residence

2a. Person granted indefinite leave as a victim of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR ABUSE (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

2b. Person granted indefinite leave as a victim of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OR ABUSE (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

3a. Those with indefinite leave as a BEREAVED PARTNER (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

3b. Those with indefinite leave as a BEREAVED PARTNER (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

4a. REFUGEES, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

4b. REFUGEES, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

5a. Those granted HUMANITARIAN PROTECTION, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

5b. Those granted HUMANITARIAN PROTECTION, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

6a. Those granted STATELESS LEAVE, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

6b. Those granted STATELESS LEAVE, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

7a. Those with SECTION 67 LEAVE (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

7b. Those with SECTION 67 LEAVE (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

8a. Persons granted CALAIS LEAVE to remain (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

8b. Persons granted CALAIS LEAVE to remain (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

9a. Those with DISCRETIONARY LEAVE, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

9b. Those with DISCRETIONARY LEAVE, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

10a. Persons granted leave under the AFGHAN SCHEMES, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

10b. Persons granted leave under the AFGHAN SCHEMES (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

11a. Evacuated or assisted BRITISH NATIONALS FROM AFGHANISTAN (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

11b. Evacuated or assisted BRITISH NATIONALS FROM AFGHANISTAN (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts before 1 August 2024)

12a. Persons granted leave under the UKRAINE SCHEMES, and family (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on or after 1 August 2024)

12b. Persons granted leave under the UKRAINE SCHEMES (use this category only if the academic year you are paying fees for starts on any date in the period 1 August 2022 to 31 July 2024)

 


Extra options if you started your course before 1 August 2021:

If you started your course before 1 August 2021, you have more options available to you. All the categories described below (at letters A to I) are open to you, as well as the categories described in the pdf guide, and some of the categories described earlier on this web page (numbered 1,4,6,7,9 and 12).

So if you started your course before 1 August 2021, you have potential to use any of the following categories (if you meet every requirement listed for the particular category):

  • the categories described below (at letters A to I)
  • the categories described in the pdf guide
  • the categories described earlier on this web page (numbered 1,4,6,7,9 and 12).

You have to meet every requirement that is listed for the category you want to use. If there is a requirement listed that says you must start your course after a particular date, check if you meet it. 

A. 'Settled' in the UK

B. 'Settled' in the UK and have exercised a 'right of residence'

C. EU nationals (or British Citizens), and family

D. ‘EU Nationals in the UK’

E. Those with the ‘right of permanent residence’ in the UK

F. EEA/Swiss workers, and family

G. Child of a former EEA migrant worker

H. Child of a Swiss National

I. Child of a Turkish worker

 

Definitions: for fee status assessment

Last modified: 21 May 2024

This section has explanations about words and terms which occur in our information, above. These explanations should not be read in isolation but, instead, combined with the appropriate fee status category.

Dependent

European Economic Area (EEA)

European Union (EU)

First day of the academic year

Ordinary residence

Overseas Territories

Settled

UK and Islands

Relevant family members – Northern Ireland - HE courses at HE institutions

Meaning of 'child'

 

7 August 2021
Changes throughout to reflect widespread changes to categories from 1 August 2021.

8 August 2021
Link to pdf guide 'Who pays 'home' fees for higher education in Northern Ireland?' added.

6 December 2021
Version 2 of pdf guide (6 December 2021) uploaded, to replace version 1 (8 August 2021).

13 August 2022
Information on category 18, 'Persons granted leave under the Afghan Schemes' included.

17 November 2022
Layout of page adjusted, for clarity. Information on categories 11 ('Evacuated or assisted British nationals from Afghanistan') and 12 ('Persons granted leave under the Ukraine Schemes') included. Notes about expiring leave, and becoming eligible, added to the special status categories. Categories A to I put into the past tense, for clarity.

25 November 2022
Version 3 of pdf guide (25 November 2022) uploaded, to replace version 2 (6 December 2021).

12 January 2023
Section on 'If a biometric residence permit shows 'ALES' added to category 10, 'Persons granted leave under the Afghan Schemes'. 

26 March 2024
Categories 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 and 12 each split into two, to show separate requirements for those years that start before August 2024 (in the categories labelled 'b'), and those years that start from August 2024 onwards (in the categories labelled 'a'). Provision for spouses, civil partners and children added to category 12, 'Persons granted leave under the Ukraine Schemes'. Provision for spouses, civil partners and children expanded in category 10, 'Persons granted leave under the Afghan Schemes'. These all reflect changes made by the Education (Student Support, etc.) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2024.

27 March 2024
Version 4 of pdf guide (27 March 2024) uploaded, to replace version 3 (25 November 2022).

21 May 2024
Version 5 of pdf guide (21 May 2024) uploaded, to replace version 4 (27 March 2024).


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