Saica nod for WSU accounting degree

The accounting degree at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) received a major boost when the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) gave WSU permission to offer the qualification.

Although news of the Saica accreditation came at the end of last year, Saica will officially hand over the certificate at a function on Friday.

The university’s new accounting faculty now boasts 17 chartered accountants who are providing academic leadership to about 400 students. The good news comes at a time when WSU has received a major setback.

A few months ago it was declared unfit to offer the LLB and electrical engineering degrees and diplomas.

This year is the last first-year intake of LLB students, and those in the system are part of the “teach-out period” given by the Council for Higher Education for law students to complete their studies and for the degree to fold.

University spokeswoman Yonela said: “We are confident that by the time our five-year period expires we would have been fully accredited again.”

On the brighter side, Tukwayo yesterday said WSU went through a vigorous process in sorting out its accountancy studies programme, with support of the University of Cape Town (UCT).

“The journey started in 2012 has not been easy but we had a committed team that worked tirelessly to meet the very high standards set by Saica. We are pleased that the hard work has yielded such good results,” said Tukwayo.

Saica, in partnership with the UCT, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and WSU, had been working since then to build the capacity of WSU in order to restore accreditation of its BCom (accountancy) degree and diploma.

In 2012, former DHET minister Blade Ndzimande injected more than R84-million into the project.

Faculty head and chartered accountant Francis Kwahena said the university was set on a new path.

“We recruited young professionals who believe in the dream of a rural kid accessing all the opportunities that are available out there. There are a lot of kids that can only become chartered accountants if Walter Sisulu University offers the degree. They cannot access UCT, Wits and the University of Pretoria because of a number of reasons, including finances,” said Kwahena.