Traditional cost systems of South African Private Higher Education System

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Naidoo, Moonsamy (2010) Traditional cost systems of South African Private Higher Education System. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 8 (4). pp. 82-90. ISSN 1727-7051 (print) 1810-5467 (online)


This paper undertakes a historical and empirical study of the costing systems of private higher education institutions (hereafter referred to as PHI’s) in South Africa from 1990 to 2005. PHI’s have changed their costing systems, greatly since 1997. This was due to the changes in the Higher Education Act of 1997, which made their registration compulsory and subjected them to further conditions. A further complication was the merger of public institutions which created mega-universities, and made it impossible for even the largest PHI to compete equally. A research questionnaire was sent out to forty-five registered PHI’s focussing on cost analysis. It was found that although PHI’s were using traditional costing systems, a large number (70%) were in the process of adopting modern cost systems, to include Activity Based Cost systems and “balanced scorecards”. However, the study revealed that in terms of the PHI’s size based on student numbers, the costs far exceeds the benefits of introducing modern cost systems. This study is not only important to the national education department, public higher education institutions, students, sponsors and shareholders but more important to prospective overseas countries like the United States, England and Australia, who wish to invest in South African higher education.

Item type Article
Official URL,c...
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Accounting
Historical > FOR Classification > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
Historical > SEO Classification > 9104 Management and Productivity
Keywords ResPubID20094, costing systems, private higher education, conventional costing systems, activity based costing
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