Date Published: 21.03.2023
Status: Past
Type: Non-discrimination
Outcome: Early case resolution

The Education (Student Support etc) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022

Summary of Information

In April 2022 the IMA conducted a review of The Education (Student Support, etc) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022 (“the Regulations”). The IMA identified an issue with the information in respect of higher education finance published on Student Finance Northern Ireland’s (SFNI) website.

The IMA liaised with the Executive Office, Northern Ireland and clarified that, whilst students were being correctly assessed,  the guidance on this particular public-facing website (DN NI Direct had been updated) had not been updated to reflect the position of pending applicants (in-time or late) and joining family members who are protected by Articles 18(2) and (3) of the Withdrawal Agreement and Articles 17(2) and (3) of the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement.

The incorrect information on the SFNI website had potential to confusion and may have inadvertently dissuaded students from applying for such finance who, had they made an application, would have been eligible.

Summary of Actions and Evidence

Accessing the SFNI website on 14 October 2022 reveals that it has now been updated to reflect the position of pending applicants (in-time or late) and joining family members. These changes were incorporated onto the SFNI website as of 4pm on 8th August 2022.

Summary of Decision

The IMA considers that the actions completed have resolved the potential concerns identified by way of an Ealy Case Resolution.

Does this issue affect you?

The complaints submitted to us help build a picture of where there are common, wide-reaching, or systemic issues with how UK public bodies are implementing the Withdrawal Agreement(s) for EU and EEA EFTA citizens’ rights.