The Australian Government is extending the Unique Student Identifier (USI) to higher education. Extending the USI to all tertiary students will reduce red tape for providers and give students access to a simpler, more streamlined tertiary identifier.
The rollout of the USI to higher education students will result in the Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) being gradually decommissioned.
From 2021, new students applying for Commonwealth financial assistance will need to provide their USI on their Commonwealth Assistance Form (CAF or eCAF). More information will be available soon.
The change will be introduced gradually, with changes beginning from 1 January 2021.
- From 2021, new higher education students (domestic and onshore international) will need to apply for or hold a USI before census date.
- New students applying for Commonwealth financial assistance will be required to provide their USI on their Commonwealth Assistance Form (CAF or eCAF), to be able to receive financial assistance (like a HELP loan).
- By 2023, all tertiary students (including those who commenced prior to 2021) will need to have a USI to be able to receive their award. This means if you plan to graduate in 2023 or after, you will need a USI.
Extending the USI to higher education will create a single government identifier for the entire tertiary education journey.
This will help simplify information management for both students and providers, as well as strengthen the integrity and richness of data available, to help improve education policy, programs and pathways.
What does this mean for students?
New higher education students (domestic and onshore international) should apply for a USI prior to enrolment in 2021.
Applying for a USI is a free and easy. You can log-in and update your details at any time.
If you have previously undertaken vocational education or training or you are unsure if you already have a USI it is easy to check if you have one. A USI is for life! You only have to create it once.
What does this mean for providers?
From 2021, higher education providers should request and record the USIs of new higher education students (domestic and onshore international) on enrolment.
Higher education providers are able to assist students to apply for or find their existing USI, as long as they have the student’s consent. Find out more about how to do this here.
Please check this page over the coming months for more information and updates on how we will be supporting providers and students.