Streamlining TRAC processes to improve efficiency


A review of TRAC (the activity-costing method used by UK universities and colleges) will make it easier and more efficient for higher education institutions (HEIs) to submit costing information to the system. The review has found strong support for the method across the sector, but suggests some important improvements to streamline the process and save money.

HEFCE has agreed with Research Councils UK a change to dispensation compliance requirements. From 2013-14 the threshold at which HEIs will be eligible to claim dispensation from the need to comply with the full TRAC requirements will increase from £0.5 million to £3 million. This significant change will allow up to 60 institutions across the UK to benefit from reduced compliance requirements.

The Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) is an activity-costing methodology which has been used by UK HEIs since 2002. The purpose of the review, which was carried out by the TRAC Review Group, was to provide greater transparency for students and taxpayers, and reduce the administrative burden to universities of providing the information.

HEFCE welcomes the Review Group’s report and endorses its recommendations. We have asked the TRAC Development Group to lead a programme of improvements to better meet the information needs of HEIs, and to publish new TRAC guidance to make it easier and more efficient to complete TRAC returns.

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Read the outcomes document