Graduates in the University of the Free State School of Accountancy achieved exceptional results in the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Initial Test of Competence (ITC). The UFS achieved an 81% pass rate in the April ITC exam for first-time writers of the BAcc Honours and PGDip (Chartered Accountancy) programmes, compared to the national average of 70%.
The ITC examination is the first of two qualifying professional examinations required to qualify as a chartered accountant (CA(SA)) in South Africa and is written by graduates shortly after completion of their formal university studies. There are two sittings for this examination annually, and the April exam is the first for 2021.
“These results were attained despite the very challenging circumstances of the emergency remote teaching environment during 2020 and is testament to the quality of our CA programme and the hard work and dedication of the staff of the School of Accountancy,” said Prof Frans Prinsloo, Director: School of Accountancy. He added that, “the results confirm the ‘quality’ / ‘excellence’ of our CA programme, and reinforce similar observations made by the SAICA monitoring team following their 2020 full visit (which included a detailed evaluation of our CA programme)”.
Transformation of chartered accountancy profession
Seventy percent of UFS graduates passed the April 2021 ITC examination, including 38 African and 3 Coloured graduates, while 10 out of 13 of the Thuthuka Bursary Programme graduates of 2020 passed. More than 60% of UFS graduates who passed the examination are black (i.e., African, Coloured, and Indian), with a pass rate of 73% compared to the national average of 52%, which include first-time and repeat candidates. The results are testimony of the interventions put in place to contribute to the transformation of the chartered accountancy profession.
Student-centred teaching approach
The School of Accountancy follows a ‘student-centred’ teaching and learning approach. During the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching was predominantly remote and was adapted to include ongoing, clear communication about the academic programme, comprehensive teaching materials containing additional explanations, learning notes, comments, cross-references to theory, and step-by-step learning guides per topic to enable students to navigate their learning.
Other interventions have also been put in place to support students financially via the school’s INTRABAS unit, mentorship and peer support initiatives, detailed tracking of student participation and performance, follow-up with students, and regular ‘check-ins’ with the student body to consider the student voice and ensure the relevance of the teaching offering.
The UFS is looking forward to the journey of our candidates and their contributions to the world of work.