The Australian Government has amended the Student Identifiers Act 2014 (Cth) to extend the Unique Student Identifier (USI) initiative from the vocational education and training sector to include the higher education sector.
Over 11 million USIs have been created since the initiative was introduced into the VET sector in 2015. Annually, OSIR supports over 87,000 telephone calls and 100,000 e-support requests. Each day, 1200 VET providers access the USI Registry System, and similarly 6,000 students access their USI account.
A staged implementation will occur between now, and 2023.
Students commencing in 2021 are encouraged to apply for, or hold a USI, and supply it to their Higher Education Provider.
Providers should request and record a student’s USI at the earliest possible opportunity.
Commencing students applying for Commonwealth Financial Assistance (HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, OS-HELP, SA-HELP) must also recorded a USI on their Commonwealth Assistance Form (CAF or eCAF).
All higher education students will need to have a USI, if they expect to receive their award in 2023 and beyond. This includes all students who started before 2021, and all international onshore students.
Continuing students may obtain their USI anytime between now, and 2023.
Please check our website www.usi.gov.au/higher-education and sign up to our USI Bulletin at www.usi.gov.au/news for more information and updates on how we will be supporting providers and students through the change.
Providers may identify key staff to apply for access to the USI Registry System. This may assist providers in discharging their responsibility, such as resolving duplicate records prior to reporting. Information on USI Organisation Portal access can be found at www.usi.gov.au/training-organisations/set-access-usi-registry-system
Providers are required to meet their obligations on the collection, use and disclosure of USI data and are responsible for ensuring they adhere to USI policies, procedures and frameworks. Find out more about your requirements at www.usi.gov.au/training-organisations/training-organisation-requirements
Importantly: If you have any questions about the decommission of CHESSN or Transforming the Collection if Student Information (TCSI) project, and the verification for USIs through the eCAF/CAF process please email the DESE project team via USItoHigherEd@dese.gov.au