Northern Ireland: FE fee status

Last modified: 08 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.

Further Education - fee status

Last modified: 07 May 2024

This part of the webpage is about the conditions you need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the 'home' rate if you are studying a course at a FE institution in Northern Ireland. This includes courses of higher education (HE) as well as courses of further education (FE).

For those studying a course at a FE institution in Northern Ireland, the categories of persons eligible for 'home' fees status are summarised in a guidance document published by Northern Ireland's Department for the Economy, FE Circular 05/22 - Further Education Residency and Funding Requirements. To read the criteria for each eligibility category, see Appendix 1, paragraphs 1-8 inclusive, on pages 5-10 of that document.

'FE Circular 05/22' (above) indicates that the residence requirements outlined in its Appendix 1 are provided for by the Further Education (Student Support) (Eligibility) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, as amended. This is legislation laid by Northern Ireland's Department for the Economy. UKCISA members can access a consolidated version of these regulations, including up-to-date amendments, in the UKCISA Manual - see Northern Ireland FE institution fees.

The regulations provide the legal foundation for defining which people must be charged a 'home' fee when studying a course at a FE institution in Northern Ireland. The circular "clarifies the requirements" in the regulations and, in many cases, explains them in a more reader-friendly way. As with previous versions of the circular(s), the current circular may also include eligibility for some students not covered by the regulations-alone. We are still working to analyse the regulations and the circular. If we spot any important differences, we will alert you here.

Definitions for fee assessment

Last modified: 08 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.


European Economic Area (EEA)

European Union (EU)

First day of the academic year

Ordinary residence

Overseas Territories


UK and Islands

Meaning of 'child'