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Australian Government Student Data Submissions Overview

What is in the Australian Government Student Data Collection?

The full details of the Australian Government Student Collection is available at HEIMS Help.  A summary is provided below.

What is outside the scope of the Australian Government Student Data Collection?

The scope of student data collected in the PeopleSoft Student Admin system is wider than that in the Australian Government data collection. For example, we do not report non-Higher Education program enrolments and associated course load to Australian Government (eg VET music students and some of the Professional and Continuing Education adult education and certificate programs), courses with zero load (units), courses for which University of Adelaide students enrol as a cross-institutional student at another University (eg some language courses).

Australian Government Student Data Collection Requirements

An overview of the Australian Government Student Data Collection Requirements is provided below.  For a complete explanation of the requirements for provision of statistical data (The Higher Education Student Collection) visit: http://heimshelp.deewr.gov.au/sites/heimshelp/resources/pages/reporting-requirements

  • 1. Statistical collections undertaken by the Australian Government

    Statistical information relating to the provision of higher education in Australia is collected by the Australian Government through a series of annual collections and special collections. The collections provide information about students, staff, finances, research income, research publications and educational profiles.

    Through the Student Collection, the Australian Government gathers data relating to:

    • Academic programs being offered
    • Academic programs enrolments and student load
    • Academic organisational units providing the courses
    • Student liabilities under Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
    • Commonwealth Learning Scholarships
    • Completions of units of study
    • Completions of courses
    • Revisions of records relating to Commonwealth Supported Students.

    Note: The Australian Government refers to academic programs as courses and courses as units of study.

  • 2. Data required by Australian Government

    The requirements of the Student Collection mean that all universities must provide the following files of data to the Australian Government:

    • Campus File: this file contains information that will support the publication of course information on the Course Information System (CIS), part of the 'Going to Uni' website.
    • Course File: this file contains information about courses undertaken at the university by the students for whom data are collected.
    • Student Enrolment File: this file contains information on the characteristics of the students.
    • Student Load/Liability File: this file contains information about the "load" and Liability for units of study (or subjects) undertaken by the students
    • Past Course Completions File: this file contains information about award courses completed by students in the year prior to the collection year, and the characteristics of the students.
    • Unit of Study Completions File: this file contains completion status of units of study undertaken by students in the reference year.
    • Commonwealth Learning Scholarships: this file contains records of all students who had a Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarship (CAS) and/or a Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarship (CECS)
    • Revision File: The Revisions file reports details of additions, deletions or changes due to administrative error and remissions. Records in the Revisions file must either relate to a record previously submitted to DIISRTE in a Student Load/Liability file or be additional records for a previously reported student/course/unit of study census date.
  • 3. Data required by the ATO

    At the times the Student Load/Liability Status Files are provided to the Australian Government, this related file of data must be provided to the ATO via the relevant Australian Government Department:

    • Commonwealth Assisted Student File: this file includes all Commonwealth supported students who pay their contributions up front or defer their contributions through Higher Education Loan Programme. This file contains information about liabilities for students who have chosen to discharge their liability through the taxation system. The file is sent to the ATO via the relevant Australian Government Department.
    • Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (ECAF) File: This file contains the signature date (indicating the date a student completed an electronic payment option declaration form) for students who have chosen to discharge their Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) liability through the taxation system. The file is sent to the ATO via the relevant Australian Government Department.

    The Commonwealth Assisted Student File is of considerable relevance to the files of data in the Australian Government Student Collection because it has to be reconciled with the data in the Student Load/Liability File.

  • 4. Compliance with the requirements

    One of the conditions under which grants for operating purposes are provided to a higher education institution is that the institution must provide statistical information in respect of the provision of higher education by the institution (see subsection 19-70(1) of the Higher Education Support Act 2003).

    The provision of data for the Student Collection is one set of such statistical information. Non-compliance with this condition could lead to the recovery of grants from a university (see s 54-1 of Higher Education Support Act 2003).

  • 5. Confidentiality of information about students

    Information Provided to the Australian Government

    The Australian Government recognises that unit record data in the Student Enrolment File, the Student Load/Liability File, and the Past Course Completions File which relate to individual students are provided to it on a confidential basis. However, unit record data may be provided to State and Territory authorities responsible for the coordination of higher education. Within the Australian Government, access to unit record data which include student identification codes will be restricted to authorised officers who have an officially sanctioned need for access.

    The Australian Government will use data in the Student Enrolment file, the Student Load/Liability File, and the Past Course Completions File to generate aggregated datasets in which information will relate to groups of students. These aggregated datasets will be made available on the Australian Government web site for the access of institutions, agencies and individuals.

    Information Provided to the ATO (via the relevant Australian Government Department)

    Data in the Commonwealth Assisted Student File and the Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (ECAF) File are provided to the ATO via the relevant Australian Government Department as encrypted files. Normal taxation confidentiality and secrecy provisions apply to such information.

  • 6. Responsibility for the integrity of the data

    The responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the data collected rests with the institution. To ensure the integrity of the data, institutions are required to undertake data validations, to check variance reports and summary reports, and to check inconsistencies and to rectify all errors prior to sending their files to the Australian Government. The Australian Government supplies a software package, DESTPAC/HEPCAT, for reporting on the validity of the data.

  • 7. Further Resources

 

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