Accounting Sciences

Community engagement & outreach

The College of Accounting Sciences views community engagement as an opportunity to contribute to the communities it serves while ensuring that the college’s core business, research and teaching, is relevant. 

The goal of community engagement is to leverage the college’s knowledge, skills and expertise in the accounting and management fields to address societal challenges and promote economic development and in return enrich the college’s research and tuition. Community engagement is therefore a two-way approach: the college engages communities with a view to assist them, which provides opportunities to do more relevant (or problem-directed) research and information gathering that can be incorporated into and improve the curriculum.

The college forges partnerships with the other colleges in the university, as well as with communities, business, professional bodies, government and the development sector, to enhance existing socio-economic development programs by harnessing the expertise of staff to address societal needs where possible.

The choice of community engagement projects in the college is determined by the needs of the community (however defined or identified), and whether the college has the requisite expertise to respond appropriately. Some of the projects the college is currently involved in are listed below.

Polokwane rural schools development

The Polokwane schools visit project was formed by Mr Samson Mapheto (Lecturer in the Department of  Management Accounting ) with the aim of providing grade 11 and 12 learners with extra accounting classes and career guidance. The project started in 2011 after an oral agreement was reached between Samson (himself a former learner of the Dikobe Molaba secondary school), two schools principals and commerce teachers in the schools.

As per the agreement it was arranged that during every September school holiday, Samson would visit the schools to provide extra classes to grade 11 and 12 pupils. The 2012 schools visit was particularly helpful because three additional academics (Mr Andile Nobatyi, Mr Stanley Sithole and Mr Rendane Nzhinga), from the Department of Management Accounting, joined the project. They visited the Dikobe Molaba and Ngwana Mohube secondary schools. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions about applying at higher educational institutions, bursaries and study fees.

Another objective of the initiative is to improve the pass rate of students by addressing accounting topics that are seen to be problematic for pupils and to support the worldwide one goal “education for all”.

During 2014 there will be two separate visits to the schools, in April and October. The project currently involves seven academics including the Chair of the Department of Management Accounting, Mr Andile Nobatyi. Thefirst visit in April 2014 managed to reach 152 accounting learners and five of their teachers.

During his speech, Mr  Nobatyi advised students to choose to study pure maths instead of maths literacy in order to prepare their minds to be future Chartered Accountants and Management Accountants. Mr Samson Mapheto also emphasised the importance of being familiar with technology.

Winning Schools Project (WISP)

We believe that the foundation of an employable graduate is laid long before registering as a student at Unisa. The first building blocks are cemented on a pre-primary school level. We aim to play our part in improving school management by equipping staff with additional knowledge and skills to enhance their efficiency.

We are currently involved at PEN Inner City Pre-School Forum, with 1350 pre-primary children in their care.  Our involvement includes presenting workshops on a monthly basis to enhance the Excel skills of their administrative staff.

Our focus for the rest of the year will be on reaching out to accounting teachers and career counsellors of schools in the Tshwane district to inform them of the various career options in the accounting field as well as identifying their Excel needs in order to bridge the gap.

College Student Career Day

This year, as part of the Accountants for Tomorrow Community Engagement Project, the College Student Career Day will be hosted on 6 August 2014, under the leadership of Vincent Motholo.  Approximately 500 students attended this very successful event in 2013.  We are also hoping to expand this event to other cities in the future.

Makapanstad Career Expo

Unisa, under the Department of Financial Accounting, has, since 2012, joined efforts with local community organisation, Makapanstad Community Development, in organising career exhibitions. In 2013, about 2110 (2815 in 2012 academic year) learners attended the exhibition.

This project is pursued with the main objective of promoting career development in rural areas, focusing on disadvantaged learners as per the National Development Plan. The project is led by Moses Hlongoane in the Department of Financial Accounting.

Maths, English and Accounting Tutorials

The Department of Financial Accounting has undertaken the initiative to improve the grade 12 or vocational education pass rate as per the National Development Plan. The lecturers in the department of Financial Accounting prepare study material and provide accounting tutorials for grade 12 learners.

The project takes place in three various centres (about 480 learners) in Soshanguve and is led by Moses Hlongoane in the Department of Financial Accounting. The Department of Education In Tshwane North and South districts are part of the project.