The move, which follows a public consultation, will see a non-means tested tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 for postgraduate students from Northern Ireland from the 2017/18 academic year. It will allow them to extend the balance on existing undergraduate loans and will be available over a number of years for students wishing to study on a more flexible part-time basis. It follows another recent announcement on the introduction of new tuition fee loans for part-time undergraduate students.
“Currently the majority of our postgraduate students cannot access any standard student support package for their tuition fees. The vast majority, particularly those on taught courses such as masters programmes, must self-fund their studies,” said Mr Farry.
“An expansion of postgraduate provision is a key aim of my Department’s higher education strategy, Graduating to Success. This solution, which is unique within the UK, will make postgraduate study much more accessible and go a long way towards achieving that vision.”