University of Limpopo to Produce Chartered Accountants - Business Media MAGS

Sunday Times Skills

University of Limpopo to Produce Chartered Accountants

The University of Limpopo (UL) has gained accreditation for its postgraduate degree in accounting, effective from January 2017.

This, together with the undergraduate accreditation UL achieved in 2011, means the province’s aspiring chartered accountants (CAs[SA]) will now be able to complete their full four years of studies at the institution.

On Tuesday 16 August 2016, SAICA announced that UL had gained accreditation for its postgraduate programme that leads to entry into SAICA’s first professional examination. This is in addition to accreditation of its undergraduate programme which SAICA granted in 2011.  

‘The SAICA accreditation process is a rigorous and extensive one,’ says Mandi Olivier, Senior Executive for Professional Development at SAICA. ‘In order for a programme to achieve SAICA accreditation, we undertake a rigorous academic review process to assess whether the university’s specific programme(s) that lead to the CA(SA) designation have the necessary resources in place to deliver a high quality programme.

The purpose of an accreditation visit, which we undertook for UL in April this year, is to establish that the criteria for an accredited academic programme are being met and that they meet the Council of Higher Education’s (CHE) definition as being a “purposeful and structured set of learning experiences that lead to a qualification”.

In so doing, SAICA seeks to establish whether or not the programme being accredited meets the appropriate national and international educational standards of the CA(SA) designation so as to ensure the delivery of competent CAs(SA) with relevant skills to the market place. We are satisfied, having undertaken a formal accreditation process, that UL’s postgraduate degree has the necessary resources to enable it to meet the required standards.’

‘The further accreditation in 2016 for the 2017 academic year means that the UL’s Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy (PGDA) is now recognised by SAICA for entry into the first of its professional examinations, the Initial Test of Competence. The implication of this is that UL students no longer have to go away to another CTA accredited university to complete their postgraduate year of study. Instead, students can complete all four years of study at UL before entering a three-year training programme, writing SAICA’s two professional examinations and registering as CA(SA).’

Chantyl Mulder, SAICA’s Executive Director for Professional Development and Nation Building, expressed her delight in the institution’s achievement and congratulated the team who made UL’s accreditation possible through collaboration, partnership and hard work:

‘UL’s postgraduate degree accreditation would not have been possible without the partnership entered into between the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and UL to provide the appropriate capacity building support and development of staff. Staff from both universities must be congratulated on this achievement as it is a direct result of their willingness to collaborate and learn from one another that accreditation has been achieved,’ explains Mulder.

‘It is also worth noting that projects like these do not come cheap. This project would not have been possible were it not for the continued financial support from the National Skills Fund.’

‘Finally, I must also give credit to the leadership of the University of Limpopo whose vision and continued support in the implementation of this capacity building project made all of this possible.’

But the benefits of UL’s accreditation extend far beyond just the university and its students.

‘For years, the inability for accountancy graduates from historically disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs) like UL to register for SAICA’s examinations without first completing both a bridging programme in addition to their CTA has not only carried a negative stigma but rendered these institutions less competitive in the labour market.

This is no longer the case for students at UL. Now that full accreditation has been achieved, the province’s aspiring CAs(SA) will no longer have to move to other provinces with institutions that are accredited in order to achieve their goal of becoming a CA(SA). This will help keep talented individuals from migrating to big city centres to find work and will, in turn, assist in boosting Limpopo’s economy.

Through this capacity building project, not only are the multitudes of young people in the province being provided with quality education and the chance to become a CA(SA), but in doing so UL is contributing towards the National Development Plan’s transformation initiatives by increasing the number of black CAs(SA) in South Africa,’ concludes Mulder.                                                                                     

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