Northern Ireland

No tuition fee rise for EU students starting university in NI

Young woman standing with the European Union flag in the background. Image copyright Getty Images

European Union (EU) students starting university in Northern Ireland in 2020 will pay the same tuition fees as local students.

The Department for the Economy (DE) confirmed they will be guaranteed "home fee" during their courses.

It follows similar announcements in England and Scotland.

There had been uncertainty whether the cost of courses for EU applicants starting in 2020 would rise depending on a deal or no-deal Brexit.

With the application cycle beginning for 2020, DE has moved to provide certainty over finance for EU applicants including those from the Republic of Ireland.

The department said that EU students applying to universities in Northern Ireland for next year would continue to be eligible for student loans and grants.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Queen's University Belfast

EU students who have already begun university here will also have their fees and loans guaranteed until they finish their current courses.

"EU nationals, or their family members, who are assessed as eligible to receive grants and/or loans will be eligible for the duration of their study on that course," DE said.

They will pay £4,395, like home students in 2020/21, and will not be treated as "overseas" students, which can mean much higher fees and a loss of eligibility for student finance.

There has been a fall in the number of students from the Republic of Ireland studying in Northern Ireland in recent years.

However, the number of international students at universities here has been rising.

More on this story