Legislation passed in early 2020 facilitates the extension of the unique student identifier from vocational education and training (VET) to higher education students. To canvass the impact of this expansion on independent higher education providers, a meeting of key industry leaders is to take place on 11 June 2020.
Key Issues —
The Student Identifiers Amendment (Higher Education) Act 2020 (Cth) gives effect to a key national education reform announced in the FY2019-20 Australian Government budget to extend the Unique Student Identifier (USI), from vocational education and training (VET) to higher education.
The stated aim of the expansion was recognition by the Australian Government of the increasing need for individuals to access tertiary education to upskill and reskill throughout their life, in order to meet the evolving demands of the labour market. In this context, a single government-issued student identifier in the tertiary education sector was thought desirable.
The USI will replace the existing Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number, also known as a CHESSN, reducing the number of student identifiers in tertiary education from two to one.
The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) has worked extensively with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment on the expansion of the USI to the higher education sector. To ensure that the revised arrangements will benefit both independent higher education providers and students, ITECA is facilitating a meeting between independent higher education providers and the department. It will be held via videoconference on 11 June 2020.
This is an exclusive opportunity for independent higher education providers to discuss the initiative directly with the senior personnel within the Australian Government responsible for the program.
The meeting comes at a critical time as, starting in 2021, new higher education students can apply for a USI and, by 2023, all graduating higher education students will need a USI before they can receive their award, unless an exemption applies. It is estimated 300,000 USIs will be issued to higher education students in 2020-21; 1.4 million USIs in 2021-22; and around 500,000 each year thereafter.
A national USI will record a student's entire tertiary education journey, enabling students to have greater autonomy and control over their education.
Independent providers support around 10% of the 1.5 million students in higher education. For more information on the meeting, please email email@example.com
Member Engagement —
ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Dual Sector Provider Interest Group.
Further Information —
For more information on this issue please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1300 421 017. Stay up to date via Twitter @ITECAust or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/ITECAust.
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