UKZN – SAICA Students Awards Ceremony
The School of Accounting, Economics and Finance recently hosted an awards ceremony in partnership with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) to celebrate the academic excellence of its students in 2013. Prizes and certificates were awarded to the top students on the Pietermaritzburg and Westville campuses as well as the top overall student on both campuses. The event was sponsored by ABSA Bank.
The annual event, held on the Westville campus, recognises and rewards outstanding students within the Accounting discipline and also provides an opportunity for accounting firms to interact with students to discuss employment opportunities
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College, Professor John Mubangizi, addressed students and parents on how UKZN continued to achieve excellence through the quality of its graduates and the quality of the programmes it offered.
Mubangizi also highlighted how the University maintained its accreditation with external bodies such as SAICA based on the outstanding quality of the professional degrees.
He said aspirant Chartered Accountants from UKZN achieved an outstanding 92% pass rate in the SAICA Initial Test of Competence (ITC) Exam - way above the national average pass rate of 81%.
‘As we celebrate the achievements of our students, we are looking to them to be our ambassadors and clear the negative perception that has been created by baseless rumours that our accounting programmes are not accredited by SAICA. Achieving such a high pass rate in the ITC exam which puts us joint fourth in the country is testimony to our excellence,’ said Mubangizi.
The Dean and Head of the School, Professor Anesh Singh, reminded students that the ceremony was not only about celebrating but was an opportunity to recognise the hard work of parents and academics in ensuring that students got personal and academic support which was crucial for their academic success. Singh encouraged students to think about a career in academia and thus share their success with future generations.
The Co-ordinator of the Accounting Programmes, UKZN academic Professor Philip Stegen, echoed Singh’s sentiments and applauded the academics for always going the extra mile to provide students with quality education which produced such wonderful results.
Speaking on behalf of SAICA, the Deputy President of the SAICA Eastern Region, Ms Thando Radebe, emphasised the importance of pursuing a career in Chartered Accountancy, partnerships in developing the accounting profession and using this career to develop others.
‘You are now SAICA members and we look to you to expand our profession and to train and develop young talent. I am excited to see so many young women in the audience. Our profession is one that accommodates women because life is all about pursuing passion - and you get paid for it,’ she said.
Ms Jyoti Maharaj was named as the Top overall first year student and the Top Accounting 101 and 102 student on the Westville campus. Maharaj is also the recipient of the Pius Langa Scholarship.
Mr Julian Vorster was recognised as the Top Accounting 101 and 102 student on the Pietermaritzburg campus.
The overall Top second year student award went to Ms Fathima Mahomed who also won the Top overall Auditing 200 prize as well as the Top Westville student in MAF 200 award. Further top achiever prizes were awarded to Ms Justine Lindsay (overall Top Accounting 200), Mr Kemen Naidoo (Top Pietermaritzburg Auditing 200) and Mr Yusuf Vawda who was the Top overall MAF 200 student.
Top achievers for third year were summa cum laude graduate Mr Thivesan Govender who scooped the awards for the overall top student, Top Tax 300 overall and Top Maf 300 overall student. Top achiever prizes also went to Mr Robert Pienaar (Top PMB Accounting 300), Mr Troy Halliday (Top overall Accounting 300), Ms Joann Naicker (Top PMB Auditing 300), Mr Naeem Shaik Yassim (Top PMB Tax 300) and Ms Shefali Daya the Top overall Auditing 300 student.
In fourth year, the overall achiever award went to Mr Zaid Ebrahim who also received the Top Advanced Accounting award for the Westville campus and the Walter Fairburn prize sponsored by SAICA. Other top achievers were Ms Vinolin Naidoo (Top PMB Advanced Accounting), Ms Nobuhle Sibisi (Top PMB Advanced Auditing), Mr Michael Stead and Ms Haseena Latif (Top overall Advanced Auditing), Mr Dietmar Paul (Top overall Advanced Tax), Mr Daleshan Naidoo (Top overall Advanced MAF) and Ms Tarisha Nandcoomar of the Pietermaritzburg campus (Top PMB Advanced MAF and Tax), who has also received awards annually throughout her four-year academic career.
Prizes were sponsored by SAICA and accounting firms Grant Thornton, PWC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY. ABSA which sponsored the event utilised the awards ceremony to engage with students on employment opportunities.
- Thandiwe Jumo