英国におけるfEC計測の取組，活用とその成果 : 英国高等教育機関における活動基準原価計算とその内在論理
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Full Economic Costing in the United Kingdom’s Higher Education: Its Explicit Objectives and Implicit Outcomes
The concept of “Full Economic Cost (fEC)” for research activities of the United Kingdom higher education institutions (HEIs) was created in the late 1990s; afterwards, in 2005 it was implemented. The whole costing system has been called the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC), and it has also been applied to education activities since 2008. All HEIs in the United Kingdom have to submit the annual TRAC returns to their funding agencies.
The fEC is not only attributed to research costs based on the expenses measured by their financial accounting, but also includes the costs associated with their physical assets consumed in real terms and the necessary surplus for their future development. Its explicit objective was to secure a sustainable amount of public research money for their projects; however, there was the other implicit objective of concentrating the money on the limited number of research intensive institutions. Therefore, education-centered institutions have recognized this costing practice has been just an addition of paperwork from which they had not benefited. Although the funding agencies and their branched expert groups devoted much effort to promote several kinds of effective uses of the data produced by the TRAC in institutional management control, it has not been successful.
According to analysis based on the HESA Finance Plus data, both explicit and implicit objectives above have been successfully achieved. Regarding the explicit objective to secure a sustainable amount of public research money, the analysis found that it had been increasing by more than the price index hike after TRAC was adopted. On the other hand, Gini-coefficient of pubic research income distributed to the UK HEIs had been increasing during the same period; which means the disparity between research intensive institutions and others had been widening. It fits the implicit objective.
It can be concluded that this kind of costing practice is effective to make persuasive evidences in order to secure public research money; however, it is difficult to effectively use the cost data for institutional management control. It could be an important implication for Japan if similar costing practice were introduced.
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