Queen's University has announced it will charge students from England, Scotland and Wales fees of £9,000 a year.
Fees for Northern Ireland students have already been frozen at £3,465.
The university made the announcement yesterday as it set out its student fees for the coming academic year.
The University of Ulster has yet to declare its student fees for 2012-1013.
The move comes after months of speculation about the decision our local universities will make given the Government’s planned increase in student fees.
In September, the Executive announced it would freeze fees at £3,465 for local students.
It was then left to the universities to decide if they would keep the cap for non-Northern Ireland students or introduce the top rate.
The announcement from Queen’s yesterday is in line with other Russell Group universities — the elite group of 20 top universities in the UK — all of which are set to charge the highest rate.
Just last week the Department of Employment and Learning committee, under which higher education falls, gave the go-ahead for GB students to be charged the higher amount of up to £9,000.
But it means while English, Scottish and Welsh students coming here to study will be charged the top rate of fees, European students, including those in the Republic of Ireland, will not.
Instead they will be charged the same as their Northern Ireland counterparts.
However, GB students who achieve two As and a B at A-level will receive an annual scholarship of £2,500, bringing their fees down to £6,500. Those who achieve offer grades will also receive a scholarship of £1,250.
It also said more places will be made available for Northern Ireland students.
DEL chairman, Basil McCrea said he was “disappointed”.
“Significant differences in tuition fees throughout the UK will create unpredictable student flows, putting huge pressures on the higher education sector.
An University of Ulster spokesperson said discussions were still “ongoing”.
From 2012, fees in England will be £6,000-£9,000. English domiciled students can borrow full value of fees.
In Wales, fees will range from £4,000 to £9,000. Welsh students can borrow to the current value and the Welsh Assembly will cover the balance.
In Scotland, Scottish students will not have to pay .
In the Republic, fees are €2,000 per year (£1,770).