How accounting students within the Thuthuka Bursary Fund perceive academic support offered at one South African university

J.M. Ontong, T. De Waal, W. Wentzel

Abstract


Recent academic performance of students in their chartered accountancy professional examinations has been under scrutiny by the business community in South Africa, especially examination performance amongst Black, Coloured and Indian (BCI) students (SAICA, 2019a; Ryan, 2019). Noting the importance of preparing higher education students for future professional examinations, this study focused on Thuthuka Bursary Fund (TBF) students in accounting. The study participants were all from BCI groups whilst the study aimed to gain insight into TBF students’ perceptions regarding the value of two academic support structures. These structures involved additional tutorials, only offered to TBF students and individual learning program sessions, offered to all accounting students. The study aimed to understand the support format required to equip students to better prepare for examinations. Student perceptions were analysed to identify those aspects which could potentially make the offered support structures more conducive to the learning needs of students. Understanding student perceptions about the effectiveness of academic support is critical in promoting the study success of students and meeting their learning objectives. The study found that certain aspects of academic support are judged to positively contribute to students’ learning, while others can be improved upon. Students seem to prefer smaller support class sizes, language-specific facilitators, support classes being scheduled during normal class hours instead of after hours, an emphasis on exam writing techniques and, to a lesser extent, course content being covered. The findings suggest more regular student feedback about the academic support offered which could result in revisions to existing support structures. Such revisions might contribute to better assistance to students, potentially increasing their performance – also in continued professional learning after graduation.  


Keywords


Thuthuka, South African chartered accountants, transformation, accounting education, SAICA

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ballantine, J., & Larres, P. M. (2009). Accounting undergraduates’ perceptions of cooperative learning as a model for enhancing their interpersonal and communication skills to interface successfully with professional accountancy education and training. Accounting Education: An International Journal, 18(4), 387–402.

Barac, K. (2015). Helping disadvantaged students: Findings from the Thuthuka programme. Accounting Education: An International Journal, 24(2), 75–101.

Colver, M., & Fry, T. (2016). Evidence to support peer tutoring programs at the undergraduate level. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 46(1), 16–37.

De Jager, E. (2014). Thuthuka students' perceptions of factors influencing success. Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences, 7(1), 53–72.

De Jager, E., & Bitzer, E. (2016). First-year students' participation and performance in a financial accounting support group. International Business & Economics Research Journal (IBER), 12(4), 399–413.

Fox, A., & Stevenson, L. (2006). Exploring the effectiveness of peer mentoring of accounting and finance students in higher education. Accounting Education: An International Journal, 15(2), 189–202.

Gounden, Y. (2013). Thuthuka means transformation. Retrieved from https://www.accountancysa.org.za/thuthuka-means-transformation/

Horn, P., and Jansen, A. 2009. “Tutorial classes – why bother? An Investigation into the Impact of Tutorials.” South African Journal of Economics 77:179–89.

Kleeman, G. L. (1994). Achieving academic success with ethnically diverse students: Implications for student affairs. NASPA Journal, 31(2), 137–149.

Papageorgiou, E. 2019. “Lecture attendance versus academic performance and prior knowledge of accounting students: an exploratory study at a South African university.” South African Journal of Higher Education 33(1):262–82.

Ryan, C. (2019, March 23). Steep rise in failure rates among black accountancy candidates raises alarm. The Citizen. Retrieved from https://citizen.co.business/2104890/steep-rise-in-failure-rates-among-black-accountancy-candidates-raises-alarm/

South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). (2012a). Thuthuka Bursary Fund produces first fruits. Retrieved from https://www.saica.co.za/News/NewsArticlesandPress mediareleases/tabid/695/itemid/3428/language/en-ZA/Default.aspx

South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). (2012b). Company announcement: SAICA - A big year for the books. Retrieved from https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/ company-announcement-saica--a-big-year-for-the-books-2012-12-10/searchString:SAICA+A +YEAR+FOR+THE+BOOKS

South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). (2019a). Transformation initiatives are paying off, says accountancy body. Retrieved from https://www.saica.co.za/ Portals/0/LearnersStudents/Examinations/Press_release_ITC_Jan_2019b.pdf

South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). (2019b). Thuthuka. Retrieved from https://www.saica.co.za/Thuthuka/tabid/4212/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Steenkamp, L., Baard, R., & Frick, B. (2012). A holistic investigation into a tutor programme in first-year Financial Accounting. Meditari Accountancy Research, 20(1), 68–87.

Stellenbosch School of Accountancy (2019). Stellenbosch Thuthuka Internal Process Document 2019. Stellenbosch: School of Accountancy.

Stellenbosch University (2019). Individual Learning and Assistance Program (ILP) General information 2019, 1-2.

Van Walbeek, C. 2004. “Does lecture attendance matter? Some observations from a first-year economics course at the University of Cape Town.” South African Journal of Economics 72(4):861–83.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.20853/34-1-3722

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


eISSN: 1753-5913

Copyright © 2016 South African Journal of Higher Education

Hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2016.

Creative Commons License -CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Disclaimer:
This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.