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Unique Public Identifier

When University ID numbers were used as private mechanism for exchanging information with students (and as passwords), it became necessary to create usernames that did not include the ID number, and that conformed to the various requirements for logins  on the numerous and diverse systems used in the University.

The UPI was developed as something that could be publicised without revealing the more sensitive student/staff ID number.

It is currently used as the standard login/username for University systems.

UPI is referred to in a number of ways:

  • University login
  • EC login
  • UoA login
  • UoA uid
  • NetLogin
  • NetID

Form

A UPI was originally derived from a person’s name. The first initial of the given name was prefixed to the first 1-3 letters  of the family name (1 and 2 letter family names are not that uncommon), and a sequence number appended.

e.g.

Given name: Alex
Family name: Student
UPI: astu987

Given name: Xin
Family name: O
UPI: xo123

 When the UPI was adopted for general use across the University, the sequence number was limited to 3 digits. The original allowed for an arbitrary length whole number (a non-fractional number of any length). This limitation has already seen exhaustion of certain letter combinations, so a growing number of UPIs deviate from the original schema.

A special class of UPI used for demonstration accounts and guests includes longer sequences of letters and numbers.

Code reading a UPI to check validity (of form) should use something like

/^[a-zA-Z]+[0-9]+$/

but you could get away with

/^[a-zA-Z]{1,4}[0-9]{3}$/

if you only wanted normal UPIs associated with people (up to 2014).

Who gets a UPI?

Anyone who needs to log into a University system (as a University user). People entering the University system through HR or student enrolment mechanisms will get a UPI when demographic data is confirmed in the Enterprise Person Registry (EPR, aka. IAM). Until this happens, the proto-person only has a University ID number.