From next year, Stormont will no longer pick up the bill for students from Northern Ireland who choose to study at colleges in the Republic of Ireland.
The Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) currently pays €2,250 euros (£1,810) on behalf of every NI student at university in the Republic.
From September 2013, the grants will be replaced by student loans.
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, said it would provide "a more level playing field" for students.
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