The Government is introducing the Unique Student Identifier (USI) and from 1 January 2021, new higher education students will need a USI to be eligible for Commonwealth assistance (Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) and HELP loan). It will be a mandatory field on the electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF) for new students.
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 and all onshore international students. Continuing students can get their USI anytime between now and 2023.
The USI is the student’s lifelong education number. 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).
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 before the census date
- where applicable, ensure the CAF or eCAF includes the student’s USI
- report the USI as part of the DESE reporting cycle.
On the Government’s USI website https://www.usi.gov.au/higher-education, you will find key messaging for students and staff, along with content tiles for use on social media, web, EDM/publications.