DAERA seeks views on the future of CAFRE Higher Education tuition fees

Date published: 14 February 2019

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) today launched a public consultation on the future direction of tuition fees at the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).


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 wide range of options to inform a future decision on the long-term direction of Higher Education tuition fee policy for CAFRE students. 

Options outlined in the consultation include:

  • charging no fees for degree courses,
  • maintaining the current charging framework,
  • applying differential fees,
  • applying fees consistent with those set by local universities, or
  • considering fee setting frameworks similar to land based colleges in England.

This engagement exercise is a result of a review of the tuition fee charging policy for Higher Education courses at CAFRE carried out by DAERA in 2017/18.

The review was driven by:

  • the ongoing variation in fees charged within CAFRE for higher education courses, and the variation with fees charged by other HE providers in Northern Ireland,
  • the need to consider increasing pressure on departmental budgets within the context of the ongoing costs of higher education courses delivered at CAFRE, and
  • the strategic policy direction of the DAERA Knowledge Framework.

Emerging findings of the review were presented to stakeholders at a focus group held in June 2018 and this led to discussion and refinement of potential options for setting the future direction of tuition fee policy.

The Department welcomes all those with an interest in this important area to submit their views by Friday 12 April 2019.

Download the consultation documents

Notes to editors: 

  1. The DAERA Knowledge Framework is a high level framework that sets out the rationale for DAERA’s involvement in education, training and technology exchange, the nature of its interventions and what the Department seeks to achieve.
  2. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook
  3. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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