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The employment and learning minister told MLAs the review of the maximum student numbers (MASN) policy would commence in 2014 and be completed in 2016, on 15 May 2012.
MASN regulates the numbers of full-time students at Northern Ireland's universities.
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt called for the minister to accept that MASN was obsolete, and to get on with creating a new system.
Mr Farry said he took the comment as an endorsement of his actions.
In reply to a question from Sinn Fein's Mickey Brady, the minister said his department was looking to one of the universities to open a rural base.
The DUP's Alex Easton was concerned about encouraging more people from Protestant working class communities to go into further education.
The minister commented that there was a balance of representation at further education level, but that young working-class Protestant males were under-represented in higher education.
Mr Farry spoke of the need to open up alternative routes to higher education.
Tom Elliott of the UUP asked about the position of students from Northern Ireland with Irish passports qualifying for free university education in Scotland.
The minister explained that this was a matter for the Scottish authorities.
He advised prospective students to contact the institution where they hoped to study and the Scottish student awards body to clarify their position on fees.
Enterprise minister Arlene Foster was asked about changes to the legislation on credit unions.
Mrs Foster said the bill, designed to transfer credit unions from regulation by her department to the Financial Services Authority, would be introduced to the assembly in the year 2014-15.
The minister said she hoped to make a statement to the assembly the following week.