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Education or Training Providers FAQs - Higher Education

No. Students are responsible for creating a USI. You can request that the student provides you with their USI so you can record it. 

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Higher Education Providers and Tertiary Admission Centres can access the USI Registry System by: 

  • integrating USI web services with Student Management System 
  • accessing the USI Organisation portal.

Submit a System Access Request form to seek access.

To request the USI Check Character Algorithm to configure USI fields within higher education systems and forms, please complete the Algorithm request form

USI web services can help you to:

  • verify single or multiple USIs
  • find a student’s existing USI with their permission
  • create single or multiple USIs at any time
  • view and update personal and contact details for students that provide USI account access.

We have support resources for system developers to find out how to implement USI web services.

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Higher Education Providers need to: 

  • encourage new students starting university in 2021 to apply for a USI as soon as possible 
  • request and record the USIs of commencing students on enrolment 
  • where applicable, ensure the CAF or eCAF includes the student’s USI 
  • report the USI as part of the DESE reporting cycle. 

Any student commencing in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) in 2021 must have a USI recorded prior to census date. 

You can also choose to request and record USIs for any student who is expected to graduate in 2023. 

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Higher Education Providers may choose when they wish to collect USIs. Students can get their USI any time and will need a USI at enrolment if they are applying for Commonwealth financial assistance via the CAF or eCAF forms. 

Students who intend to graduate in 2023 or beyond will need a USI to get their degree.

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No. A USI cannot be printed on a Student ID card. 

Student ID cards include identity details (eg name, photo). The Student Identifiers Act 2014 protects the privacy of the individual and prohibits recording identity details. The combined effect of subsection 19(2) of the Student Identifiers Act 2014 and section 18 of the Student Identifiers Regulation 2014 is that even if an individual consented, an entity cannot use a student identifier as its own identifier; nor is an entity authorised to print the individual’s student identifier on a student card. 

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No. For more information, contact the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations at

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Our privacy notice is linked to the terms and conditions and is not relevant if the USI is being collected. The notice is only relevant if the provider is creating a USI on the student’s behalf. 

When collecting USIs, we suggest that the provider refer students to their own privacy policy as well as section 16 of the Student Identifiers Act which advises that any other entity (other than the Registrar) collecting a student identifier must take reasonable steps to protect the record from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. 

A contravention of section 16 of the Student Identifiers Act is taken to be an interference with the privacy of an individual for the purposes of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). 

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A new student is anyone commencing a new course of study from 1 January 2021, and the census date for their first unit of study is on or after 1 January 2021. 

Depending on the circumstances, this includes students who are changing their course, picking up an additional course or dropping a course, those returning from a study break or deferral, or transferring from one provider to another. 

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For questions about the decommissioning of CHESSN or the Transforming the Collection of Student Information project (TCSI), contact

For information on CHESSN visit the Study Assist website

For information on TCSI visit the TCSI website

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We have prepared some promotional content about the USI for higher education providers to share with their staff and students. Visit our higher education page for access to our communications resources and messaging.

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From 2021, the Unique Student Identifier (USI) was extended to higher education students. The CHESSN will gradually be decommissioned. For questions about the decommissioning of CHESSN or the Transforming the Collection of Student Information project, contact

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For questions about the decommissioning of CHESSN or the Transforming the Collection of Student Information project, contact

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Office of the Student Identifiers Registrar (OSIR)
Last Modified on Tuesday 5th September 2023 [675]