CAFRE provides a range of full and part-time Further and Higher Education courses, in addition to industry short courses, covering agriculture, food, equine, horticulture and business for agri-food and rural enterprise.
The Department is seeking views on a range of proposals to inform a future decision on the long-term direction of FE support and charging for students at CAFRE. The proposals include:
- extending support to part-time students;
- increasing the rate of support available;
- raising the lower household income threshold; and
- lowering the upper household income threshold.
No proposal has been made to introduce charges for FE courses at CAFRE however DAERA are keen to gather your views on this position.
This engagement exercise is a result of a review of the FE support and charging policy at CAFRE in 2018/19. The review took into account three key factors namely;
- The ongoing need to deliver affordable and accessible FE courses at CAFRE;
- Variations in the policies in place within CAFRE and other FE providers in NI; and
- The strategic policy direction of the DAERA Knowledge Framework.
Emerging findings of the review were presented to stakeholders at focus groups held in October 2019 and this led to discussion and refinement of proposals for the future direction of student support and charging policy at CAFRE.
The Department welcomes all those with an interest in this important area to provide their views by 11 September 2020.