An asset is an item that the University owns and uses while providing administration, education and research services. The University’s assets consist mainly of buildings and equipment but there is also approximately £100 million worth of building assets under construction at any one time and numerous heritage assets.


Treatment of assets

Fixed assets consist of equipment, software and vehicles over £50,000, which is the University’s materiality level for equipment assets (for more details, see the glossary). These assets are accounted for in the University's balance sheet, are capitalised and will be depreciated on a monthly basis over the life of the asset. This is all managed by the Finance Division.

Capital building projects over £100,000 are treated the same way as equipment fixed assets.

In addition there are numerous heritage assets, mainly held in the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Library, which are also accounted for in the balance sheet however these do not depreciate as it is deemed their value does not decrease but increases over time. Land assets are also not depreciated for the same reason.

Expense assets consist of equipment, software, vehicles and heritage assets under £50,000 but over £25,000. It is the University’s policy to recognise only assets that cost over £25,000 within the Oracle Financials Fixed Asset module (including any non-reclaimable VAT) due to the large number of assets that the University owns. These assets are expensed so the full cost of the item is accounted for in the University’s income and expenditure account during the year of purchase and not included in the balance sheet. This is also managed by the Finance Division.

Prior to the 1st April 2023 the University's policy was to recognise expense assets when they exceeded a cost of £10,000.


Asset Value Treatment
Equipment, software and vehicles £25K-£50K Expense asset
Equipment, software and vehicles Over £50K Fixed asset
Capital building projects Over £100K Fixed asset




Contact Us

 : Financial Reporting Team
       Finance Division
       University of Oxford
       23-38 Hythe Bridge Street
       OX1 2ET