Cost per Student Using ABC Approach: A Case Study

Maelah, Ruhanita; Amir, Amizawati Mohd; Ahmad, Azlina; Auzair, Sofiah
May 2011
International Proceedings of Economics Development & Research;2011, Vol. 9, p40
Academic Journal
Activity Based Costing (ABC) has become a popular cost and operations management technique to improve the accuracy of product or service costs. This study uses a single case study method to determine the cost per student for all academic programs at a public university in Malaysia, using ABC approach. Findings from this study indicate that at present, traditional costing method is being used and the number of students is the sole cost driver in allocating the costs. The cost per student is averaged by faculty. The study shows that using ABC, a more comprehensive and detailed cost information can be generated at the program level for undergraduate and graduate; and for international and local students. The ABC model produce higher annual cost per student compared to present but lower annual cost per student for graduate programs. This study contributes significantly to the theoretical knowledge by providing an empirical evidence of ABC application in a service setting. In practice, it benefits interested parties including management, Ministry of Education, other institute of higher learning, sponsors, students, parents and the general public.


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