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 £4,710 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.
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 a few of the categories described earlier on this web page (4, 7, and 5).
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 that relate to refugees and section 67 leave, plus the old version of the humanitarian protection category (see numbers 4, 7 and 5, above)
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.