The responses to the consultation demonstrated overwhelming support for most of the proposals. There was strong support for the retention of TRAC. There was support for improvement and streamlining, rather than fundamental change. There was strong endorsement of the proposals and clear articulation of priorities for improvements and suggestions for further enhancements including:
There were strong objections to the proposal to publish Annual TRAC data or TRAC for teaching (TRAC(T)) data on a named-institution basis. The strength of the responses confirmed that HEIs consider cost data to be price-sensitive information likely to impact on the market if published, and that their publication would contravene competition law.
HEFCE accepts the recommendations of the TRAC Review Group for reducing administrative burden by improving and streamlining TRAC. We also re-confirm our commitment not to publish individual TRAC and TRAC(T) data. The outcomes report includes an action plan setting out HEFCE’s response to the TRAC Review Group recommendations. This includes an improvement programme for TRAC which will be led by the TRAC Development Group with oversight by the Financial Sustainability Strategy Group.
We will also continue with the decision announced in HEFCE 2012/19 to develop a modified version of TRAC(T) reporting to provide data to inform our teaching funding method for high-cost subjects. HEFCE is committed to working with BUFDG, AHUA and TDG to establish how progress could be made towards combining Annual TRAC reporting with the Annual Accountability Returns and identify how obstacles can be removed or overcome.
We are committed to working with the sector to build on good practice in providing accessible and meaningful information for students and taxpayers about how public funds and student fees are invested by HEIs.
The TRAC Review Group concluded that if its recommendations are implemented TRAC will:
Streamlining of requirements and improvement of guidance in line with these recommendations will delivery benefits and reduce administrative burden for HEIs estimated at between 5 and 25 per cent.
As part of the consultation process, we held two half-day consultation events to introduce the consultation document.
The TRAC Review Group has advised us in the course of this review. The group is chaired by an independent HEFCE Board Member.
Other members are drawn from across key stakeholder groups.
The 2011 higher education White Paper asked HEFCE to consult with the sector on a proposed streamlining of the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC). The TRAC Review Group was established to define the scope and content of the consultationand to make recommendations to the HEFCE Board.
To support the work on the review, KPMG gathered evidence from across the range of groups and individuals with an interest in TRAC to provide analysis of the current TRAC arrangements and identify opportunities for improvements.
The report ‘Review of the Transparent Approach to Costing: A report by KPMG for HEFCE’ (October 2012) was published alongside the consultation.
The review also drew heavily on the evidence in ‘Review of time allocation methods: A study for the TRAC Development Group’ (July 2012).
The TRAC Development Group led a review into time allocation methods across the sector. The report provides further insights and practical suggestions to assist institutions in enhancing their management information in this area in addition to improving the data that informs the TRAC process.
Page last updated 30 April 2013