Governance & Strategic Planning

Principles of a Resource Allocation Model

What is Resource Allocation and why does the University of Edinburgh need it?

RA2018 resource allocation model workflow

A resource allocation model (RAM) is a methodology for determining where resources should be allocated within an organisation. Resources may include financial resources, technological resources and human resources. In the case of University of Edinburgh, the RAM refers to the allocation of financial resources.

Support Groups use resources to provide services to the Colleges, the University as a whole and to students directly. Resources need to be sufficient to meet the operational and strategic goals of the University. The RAM should provide a framework for determining the distribution of income as well as the approach to funding the costs of common provided services. Strategic investment decisions may, of course, impact on the actual allocation in any single year.

Drivers for Change

One of the key principles of the RA2018 methodology is to include all sources of income - research, teaching and other income - in one resource allocation process for the University of Edinburgh.

Another driver for change is ‘gross accounting’ with the objective of allocating resources and reporting on a gross income and expenditure basis. Resource allocation at the University of Edinburgh is currently confined to the unrestricted sources of income and allocated on a ‘net’ basis to Colleges and Support Groups, reflecting resources allocated after locally-earned income has been deducted.

The RA2018 Principles

  1. RA2018 will be informed and driven by the strategic priorities of the University
  2. RA2018 will be transparent, easy to understand, and reflect the Universities strategic priorities
  3. RA2018 will be a gross model where research, teaching and other income is all attributed to the units where that income is earned and/or activity delivered, wherever practicable
  4. RA2018 methodology operates at the level of College and Support Group while providing data which may then form the basis of resource allocation from Colleges to Schools and Support Groups to Planning Units
  5. RA2018 will operate within Court approved guidelines for financial sustainability
  6. RA2018 will represent a rolling three-year view for delivery of the University Strategic Plan by the Colleges, Support Groups and pan-University initiatives
  7. The RA2018 model will be operated at a strategic level of materiality.