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Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC)

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The Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC), introduced in 2000, is the standard methodology used by higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK for costing their activities. It was established as an approach to identifying the Full Economic Costing (FEC) of all activities to improve the accountability for the use of public funds and inform institutional decision making.

Full economic costs include direct costs plus a share of support costs, together with an adjustment to reflect the medium to longer term costs of maintaining the institution’s sustainability by financing and investing in its infrastructure.

TRAC analyses the activities of an institution across the headings of Teaching (T), Research (R) and
Other (O). Teaching is further sub-divided into publicly funded (PFT) which is from any public funding source (including RUK fees paid by the Student Loans Company) and non- publicly funded (NPFT) which includes overseas and self-funded students.

For further information go to the TRAC website.

Financial Sustainability Strategy Group

The Financial Sustainability Strategy Group is a high level forum established to consider the strategic, policy, cultural and technical issues around the use and development of TRAC.

TRAC Development Group

The TRAC Development Group (TDG) group considers developmental issues and supports the use of TRAC in understanding and managing financial sustainability.

TRAC Guidance

Go to the TRAC website for detailed guidance.

TRAC Support Unit

The TRAC Support Unit provides a range of support services for the higher education sector in the development of TRAC and enhancing the way it is used by institutions.

Annual TRAC data

TRAC data is collected annually from HEIs.

Previous TRAC data is available from our archive.

SFC Strategic Plan 2022-27

Building a connected, agile, sustainable tertiary education and research system for Scotland.

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