National Student Index

National Student Index including cut off date, user guides, and other relevant information.

The Ministry of Education in collaboration with other government Tertiary Education agencies developed a National Student Index (NSI). The NSI is a mechanism for assigning tertiary students with a unique identifier that is used by providers in their reporting to the Ministry and NZQA so that policy makers can accurately identify student characteristics and outcomes.

For further NSI information go to the Ministry of Education's website.

The National Student Index (NSI) is a database system maintained by the Ministry of Education.

User Guides

NSI Web user interface guide

NSI Web User Interface Guide

The NSI Web User Interface Guide explains the prerequisites to enable a valid user to use the web interface of the NSI system. It provides instructions for the web functionality and advice on how to navigate your way through the web interface.

Users who mainly access the NSI via their Student Management System (SMS) will find the concepts and advice in this guide very useful. There are also some areas of NSI functionality that can only be accessed via the NSI website.

Requests for support in using the web interface of the NSI system should be made to the Education Service Desk 0800 422 599.

Guide to integrating with NSI

Guide to integrating with the National Student Index [PDF; 1.56MB] Version 6.8 issued February 2017.

The Guide to Integrating with NSI (GINs) document explains the necessary requirements to enable a student management system (SMS) to integrate with the National Student Index (NSI) system. It explains the NSI functionality and details each of the options available for integration with the NSI.

If you have any questions about interfacing with the NSI system, contact the Education Service Desk on 0800 422 599, or by email on

NSN Cut off date - reminder

The NSN cut off date should be set to the date the NSI data is valid to. It is effectively the 'as-at' date for the NSI data in the set of files. This means that any changes made to the NSI after you extract your data should not affect the successful submission of your SDR. The only instance where this is not the case is if two records are merged and you hold the number which becomes invalid.

NSI extract for eSDR

Just a reminder that if you make changes in the NSI you need to wait 10 minutes before you validate for these changes to be reflected in your eSDR.


Please be aware that the National Student Number (NSN) is issued once for life. NSNs also double as NZQA Record of Achievement Numbers. One of the benefits of this is that when a student is issued an NSN, upon enrolling for NCEA, it means subsequent tertiary providers are not required to issue another number.