Using national student numbers (NSN) to strengthen student identity management to support students’ participation in online learning

The Education Legislation Bill enables authorised users to use national student numbers (NSN) for the specific purpose of establishing and maintaining student identities. This will support the creation of a persistent digital identity that students can use as they progress through the education system.

New legislation

Authorised users can now use the national student number (NSN) for the specific purpose of establishing and maintaining student identities under section 344(2) of the Education Act 1989. The Act has been amended by the Education Legislation Act 2016 that came into force on 29 October 2016.

Previous situation

Previously the Act excluded the use of the NSN for identity purposes in support of participation in online learning.

Impact of the legislation

The NSN can only be used by authorised users for specified authorised purposes after the Secretary has issued a notice in the NZ Gazette. The amendment will make it easier to establish robust identity and access management for students to support future online learning initiatives.

Why the change?

Robust and secure support for student participation in online learning requires establishing and maintaining online student identities that are linked to a student’s core education system identity through the NSN.



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