The Australian Government is extending the Unique Student Identifier (USI) to higher education students, starting in 2021.
What is the USI?
The USI is a single unique identifier for a student’s education journey.
When will the USI be introduced to higher education?
The USI will be introduced gradually, with students who are commencing their studies in 2021.
By 2023, all higher education students will need to have a USI if they expect to receive their award in 2023 or beyond. This includes all students who started before 2021, as well as, all international onshore students.
Continuing students may obtain their USI anytime between now, and 2023.
What do students need to do?
Students who are commencing study in 2021 are encouraged to:
- check if they already have a USI (from previous vocational education or training); or
- get a USI as soon as possible;
- provide their USI to their Tertiary Admissions Centre or Higher Education Provider when requested.
If a student is applying for Commonwealth Financial Assistance (HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, OS-HELP, SA-HELP) a USI must also be recorded on their Commonwealth Assistance Form (CAF or eCAF).
What do Higher Education Providers need to do?
Starting now, Higher Education Providers need to:
- encourage 2021 commencing students to apply for a USI as soon as possible;
- request and record the USIs of commencing students on enrolment;
- any student commencing in a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) must have a USI recorded prior to census date
- where applicable, ensure the CAF or eCAF includes the student’s USI;
- report the USI as part of the DESE reporting cycle.
Decommissioning of Commonwealth Higher Education Student Number (CHESSN)
The Office of the Student Identifiers Registrar is not responsible for the decommissioning of CHESSN or the Transforming the Collection of Student Information project (TCSI).
For questions about these initiatives, contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment at USItoHigherEd@dese.gov.au
Access to the USI Registry System
The functionality to enable Higher Education Providers to access the USI Registry System by integrating USI web services with Student Management Systems or via the USI Organisation Portal, is currently being adapted.
We will notify Higher Education Providers when the functionality is available and outline the steps needed to apply and connect.
In the interim, Higher Education Providers can undertake preparatory steps including:
- setting up the myGovID/RAM authorisation that will be required, in order to access the USI Registry System – more information is available at myGovID/RAM
- requesting the USI Check Character Algorithm that can be used to configure USI fields within higher education systems and forms and ensure the USI field parameters are correct by completing our short form
- completing and emailing a System Access Request Form.
Resources and updates
We have prepared the following content for Higher Education Providers to share with their staff and students:
Social media posts
We have created graphics and captions for you to use in social media posts, Electronic Direct Mail (EDM), publications and on your website. Download the graphics here and find the suggested posts below.
- Are you starting study in 2021? You need a USI – it remains with you for life. Get one now at www.usi.gov.au
- Are you starting study in 2021? You need a USI. It’s an education identifier for your entire study journey. Create it once and it’s with you for life. Get a USI or check if you already have one at www.usi.gov.au
Please click on the View the Fact Sheets box, on the right hand side of the page.