Unique Student Identifier Regime Extended


This alert applies to providers of higher education and will likely amend the NATIONAL – Higher Education Funding topic.

Education Legislation Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Bill 2020 (Cth)

Please be advised that the Education Legislation Amendment (2020 Measures No. 1) Bill 2020 (Cth) (the Bill) passed the Federal Parliament on 18 June 2020 and received Royal Assent on 19 June 2020. The changes made to the relevant provisions discussed in this Alert are due to commence on 1 January 2021.

Higher Education Support Act

The purpose of the changes is to extend the Unique Student Identifier (USI) regime to all higher education students by requiring students commencing from 1 January 2021, and all students from 1 January 2023, to have a USI in order to be eligible for Commonwealth assistance under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth) (the Act).

The Bill will amend the Act by extending the circumstances in which a higher education provider is permitted to advise a person that they are a Commonwealth supported student (CSP) under section 36-10 of the Act. Further to the criteria under section 36-10, the Bill will add:

and if:

  • the census date for the unit is on or after 1 January 2021 and before 1 January 2023 and the person commenced the course of study on or after 1 January 2021; or
  • the census date for the unit is on or after 1 January 2023;

the person has a USI immediately before the census date.

Section 104-1 of the Act, which provides for who is entitled to FEE-HELP assistance, will be amended by the Bill to include circumstances where the student is enrolled in a unit of study if (where the unit is, or is to be, undertaken as part of a course of study) the census date for the unit is on or after 1 January 2021 and before 1 January 2023 and the student commenced the course of study on or after 1 January 2021. Section 104-1 will also include where a student is enrolled in a unit of study if (where the unit is, or is to be, undertaken as part of a course of study) the course is provided by Open Universities Australia or the unit is part of a bridging course for overseas‑trained professionals, and the census date for the unit is on or after 1 January 2023. In each case, the person must also hold a USI immediately before the census date for the unit to be eligible.

In short, the effect of the changes means that a student who does not have a USI on or after 1 January 2021 for new students, or on or after 1 January 2023 for all students, before the census date for the unit, will not be entitled to Commonwealth support under the Act or FEE-HELP assistance.

Please click here to access the full Bill.


Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au