30/01/2012 4:49:20 AM
James Guthrie -
The Australian’s recent story on TAFEs to offer postgrad degrees, demonstrates how more education pathways are starting to emerge. Traditionally, TAFE is the go-to place for vocational education and training. But with government restrictions being lifted, TAFEs can now look to deliver postgraduate qualifications for a range of disciplines, including for the accounting profession. Already, plans are underway for some TAFEs in Victoria to develop a masters in professional accounting.
TAFEs are just one of many pathways to emerge in recent years. Today options for becoming an accounting professional can be through a diverse range of vocational education and training providers, private higher education providers, corporate universities, public and private universities and professional bodies. Importantly, these providers are not limited to Australia but also include international organisations. However, now these organisations providing accounting education need to meet all the new legislation requirements set under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) threshold standards. Some of the standards outlined in the TEQSA legislation include:
1.2 There are robust internal processes for design and approval of the course of study, which take account of external standards and requirements, e.g. published discipline standards, professional accreditation, input from relevant external stakeholders, and comparable standards at other higher education providers (See p.18)
4.2 The higher education provider ensures that staff who teach students in the course of study:
5.5 The academic standards intended to be achieved by students and the standards actually achieved by students in the course of study are benchmarked against similar accredited courses of study offered by other higher education providers. (See p.21)
We support strong government in the regulation of higher education and in particular accounting education. Our focus is on the quality of academics, our own high professional standards and graduate achievements, which are benchmarked to high quality Australia-wide. In the marketplace, there is also strong demand for qualified accountants from professional firms, corporations, not for profits and the government sector. While this is good news for attracting more people to the profession, how do we ensure the quality of teaching and curriculum is maintained now and in the future? How do we ensure accounting education remains relevant and adapts to the changing nature of the profession with globalisation, new technologies, environmental and social impacts?
Whichever pathway people choose to take, it’s important the quality of accounting education is upheld so that graduates coming into the profession meet the expectations of employers, our members and society. How do we do this? The answer involves opening dialogue and collaborating with policy makers, academia and the profession. That way, we can work together to build a sustainable long term accounting profession in Australia and internationally.
7 February 2012: Emerging paths for the next generation of accountantsFollowing on from our two previous thought-leadership initatives, I’m delighted to announce the Institute and the Centre of Accounting Governance and Sustainability from the University of South Australia, will host a new forum on Emerging paths for the next generation of accountants in Adelaide on Tuesday, 7 February 2012. The forum, will for the first time in Australia, assemble key players from across accounting education, universities, the professional associations, and professional services firms. I’ll report back on key findings in the coming weeks.
James Guthrie (Member since: 31/05/2011 5:00:07 AM)
As Head of Academic Relations at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, I engage with accounting academics and stakeholders in the Australian higher education system and provide thought leadership to benefit the wider accounting profession.
I have more than 35 years experience in accounting education and am an honorary professor at the University of Sydney, a Professor at Macquarie University and Bologna University in Italy.
Prior to joining the Institute, I was the Chair of Discipline of Accounting at the University of Sydney and I've previously held roles at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and the University of New South Wales.
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