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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Despite enduring an extraordinary learning and teaching environment during the 2020 academic year, Nelson Mandela University’s accounting graduates achieved an impressive 83% pass rate at the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (SAICA) initial test of competence exam, the results of which were released last week. 

The initial test of competence (ITC) examination is the first of two professional assessments required for qualification as a chartered accountant [CA(SA)], and is written shortly after completion of the formal university studies – a three-year undergraduate and one-year postgraduate degree [PGD (Accounting)]. It aims to assess the technical competencies of candidates.

The results, release on Friday (02 July 2021) bore testament to the University’s ongoing efforts towards students’ academic success in the face of a global pandemic that has brought about various challenges and a “new normal” to learning and teaching.

In its unwavering commitment to social justice, Mandela University adopted two learning and teaching pathways, with several variations to each, to enable the completion of the 2020 academic year. In accommodating the various needs and resources available to students during the hard lockdown period, the PGD(Accounting) class of 2020 was managed in four different groupings, completing their studies in different timeframes, with 95% of the class able to complete their 2020 academic year.

“We are extremely proud of our PGD(Accounting) class of 2020, who obtained astounding results in the initial professional exam, despite a rather challenging academic year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, Professor Hendrik Lloyd.

Seventy graduates, including four from the 2018 and 2019 academic years, passed the 2021 ITC examination.

“The School of Accounting is encouraged by the fact that 56% of these passes consisted of African (40%), Coloured (12%) and Indian (4%) students, attesting to our continued commitment to transformation of the pipeline of aspiring CAs,” said Head of the Accounting Sciences Department, Professor Amanda Singleton (left).

The pass rate for Mandela University’s black African students has consistently exceeded the national average, with this year’s ITC examination being 16% above the national average for this cohort of students.

“Our Thuthuka Bursary Fund graduates excelled with an 87% pass rate in the 2021 ITC examination and this performance is testament to the wrap around support afforded to African and Coloured students who qualify for this bursary programme, which is part funded by SAICA and NSFAS” said Prof Singleton.

The National pass rate was 65%, placing Mandela University amongst the top performing SAICA accredited universities in the country.

 “These results confirm the continuing quality of CA(SA) education at Nelson Mandela University and the commitment and dedication of our team in guiding students towards their success in this important milestone in the CA(SA) qualification journey,” said Prof Singleton.

“Since 2015, we have attained an ITC pass rate in excess of 80% and have had five candidates pass the ITC with honours, attaining a spot in the national Top 10. We offer a boutique type service - our classes are relatively small, and students have direct access to lecturing staff, all of whom demonstrated a level of passion and commitment that surpassed all my expectations in the 2020 academic year.”


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Ms Zandile Mbabela
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