The course – which has received R700,000 worth of funding from the Finance and Accounting Services Seta (Fasset) – is geared towards those who traditionally would not have gained entrance into university. Depending on their results on completing the course, they can then apply for a diploma course.
“The course has a dual purpose,” said Prof Pieter Pelle, head of the Department of Applied Accounting. Its overall aim is to address “the huge shortage of bookkeepers and accounting support staff in South Africa”. Those who attain a 60% pass will be able to boost their qualifications through further study in the mainstream university Diploma in Accountancy programme, while those with a lower pass mark will have been prepared to work as bookkeepers, and can immediately enter the work force. The course will be offered at NMMU’s Missionvale campus.
Fasset project manager Tania Lee said one of Fasset’s main priorities was funding projects that allowed more matrics to have access to university. “Each year, Fasset’s board puts projects to tender – NMMU met the requirements of the tender.”
The funding from Fasset – which will cover textbooks, additional lectures, life skills support and mentoring/coaching – is to assist the first cohort of 50 students to complete the certificate course next year. Fasset is also providing additional funding to advertise the course.
“We are very pleased about NMMU’s course. Fasset’s board has been trying to broaden the provider base for a long time,” said Lee.
The project has been approved at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 5 – placing it between Further Education and Training (FET) courses, which end at NQF level 4, and university diplomas and degrees, which start at NQF level 6. “We want to help more learners get into Higher Education and ultimately into the finance and accounting sector.”
The year-long Higher Certificate in Accountancy will include 10 modules, covering the areas of financial accounting, management accounting, communications skills, end-user computing and computerized accounting.
“This is a totally new course,” said Pelle. “It is the only one registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) and we are the only university in the country offering a course of this nature.” Pelle said most universities provided a “bridging year” which allowed learners to repeat matric maths and some accounting. The Higher Certificate in Accountancy replaces that – and provides an exit level qualification. “It’s a wonderful qualification providing exciting new opportunities for many Grade 12 learners.”
Article issued by NMMU
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