Old news, but the USI has now been extended to cover the whole tertiary education system.

This means that the USI now applies to the higher education sector as well as VET.

The legislation

Information about the Student Identifiers Amendment (Higher Education) Bill 2019 can be found here. This site contains information about the final text of the bill, and there is also a digest of the bill.

Assent to the bill occurred on 6 March this year.

In essence, it extends the USI to higher education to simplify access to education and training records for students. “The Bill proposes to make the USI available to higher education students from 2021 and mandatory for non-exempt higher education awards from 1 January 2023.” The USI is a record for life.

The benefits down the track

As the Bills Digest points out:

“Under current arrangements, it is not possible for policy makers and analysts to adequately track student mobility between sectors―this capability is important for the purposes of understanding and addressing issues such as student retention and completion, or the impact of strategic investments in particular skill areas across multiple sectors.”

But the real benefit is to find out how student pathways actually work in the tertiary space as VET and HE students move up, down and across their VET and HE studies. In the past there has been an assumption that pathways work by students moving onward and upward in their studies, but this is not really how the pathways actually work in practice.

In time, however, the USI will enable better design of programs and tertiary funding models in line with the way the system actually works, rather than how it is assumed to work.

It will take a fair amount of time to get a useful amount of data about tertiary pathways and how they work, but your newsletter editor can hardly wait to see what the data will reveal! Hope I live that long!!