Students in Northern Ireland who are moving home for the summer are being reminded by TV Licensing that they could be entitled to £50 in the form of a refund.
In 2017, TV Licensing changed the way refunds are calculated to make it easier for customers to apply. This means more students can benefit from a refund as they can now claim for any full months left on their licence.
Almost 55,000 students are enrolled in higher education in Northern Ireland* and, in order to qualify, students with existing TV Licences need to be leaving their halls or rented accommodation and be moving to a licensed address.
If students bought their licence last October and moved out in May, they could receive a refund worth up to £50.16.
Applying is simple and can be done online or over the phone. Students just need to have their TV Licence details to hand and evidence to show that their licence is no longer needed, such as a copy of the end of their tenancy agreement.
Alana Taylor, spokesperson for TV Licensing, said: “Many students are unaware that they can claim a refund on their TV Licence when returning home for the summer and so could be missing out on an extra £50 in their pockets.
“Applying for a refund is quick and easy and we encourage all students who are eligible, or their parents in some cases, to take advantage of it.
“It is important that students needing a TV Licence purchase one at the earliest opportunity when starting university or college to take advantage of the flexible payment options available to them and avoid a fine of up to £1,000.
“The savings made by applying for a refund could pay for a return flight from Belfast to Manchester, a classic back, neck and shoulder massage at a five-star city centre hotel, two return bus tickets to Dublin or two tickets to a Gin Distillery Tour and Tasting in Co Down."
A licence is needed for watching and recording programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, as well as downloading or watching BBC programmes on iPlayer.
This applies to any provider and any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.
Laura Neeson, Advice and Welfare Caseworker from Ulster University Students’ Union said:
“If you are moving back home over the summer, the refund system is useful to ensure that you are not losing out or paying extra. When money is tight, this refund of up to £50 could come in handy for other living costs."
Eva Crossan Jory, NUS Vice President (Welfare), said:
“A TV Licence is valid for a whole year, so if students purchase a licence in October they can apply for a refund when the academic year has finished and they are no longer living in student accommodation. Many could end up saving some much-needed cash as they go into the summer break.
“If students are uncertain about rebates or need to discuss finances they can approach the advice centre in their university, college or students’ union.”
To arrange a refund or change address, simply visit: www.tvlicensing.co.uk/studentinfo, or call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6113.