Fort Hare comes out tops in SA after first accounting board exam

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The University of Fort Hare’s accounting department has outperformed top-rated universities like the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg by scoring the highest pass rate in the recent South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) board exam. The results were for the Saica’s initial test of competence board exam which accounting graduates must pass on the path to writing their final board exam.


Fort Hare achieved a 92% pass rate – sharing the top spot with the University of Pretoria – in the tough external examination. The results were for the Saica’s initial test of competence board exam which accounting graduates must pass on the path to writing their final board exam. UCT scored a pass rate of 81%, University of Stellenbosch 90%, University of Johannesburg 82%, Rhodes 67% and the University of the Free State 52%.  “We are super excited,” said Fort Hare accounting department deputy head Wendy Terblanche, who was at a departmental strategic meeting at Areena Riverside Resort yesterday. “We will be popping champagne tonight. We are so proud because we are on a par with the University of Pretoria, so that is such an indicator of the quality of our graduates.”


Terblanche said the achievement was especially significant because UFH was the first previously disadvantaged university to be accredited by Saica 10 years ago. “Also it is the university’s 100-year anniversary so this is a double celebration. We’ve been getting good results all along, but this is the first time we are top in the country.” Terblanche said of the 38 students who wrote the exam, 35 passed. At the University of Pretoria, 204 students passed out of the 222 who wrote. She said the key to the department’s success was smaller classes and a dedicated team of lecturers able to work one on-one with students.


Students who passed the initial board exam are already doing their articles at various firms. “A lot of them are working in East London. We work closely with local practitioners because we encourage students to stay local.”


One of the successful board exam UFH students, Thuliswa Dlokova, 25, said she was very excited she had made her university proud. “I am more proud of the fact that we are number one than that I’ve passed. Our lecturers were very helpful. They gave us their personal numbers so we could WhatsApp them if we had questions. They worked overtime to help us. Our accounting lecturer, Sean Weldon, for example, knew us all by name,” said Dlokova, who is doing her academic articles through UFH.


“This is great news,” said fellow graduate Akhona Lacky, 25, who is doing her articles at the auditor-general’s office. “In the past people thought the university was disadvantaged, that we could not make it, but I guess we are changing history.”


UFH’s accounting department is also known as the Nkuhlu department of accounting in tribute to Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, the first black person to qualify as a chartered accountant in 1976.


Nkuhlu department HoD Ntombi Mnconywa thanked her “fantastic team” of lecturers, namely professors Gillian Bartlett, Sean Weldon, Lana Weldon, and lecturer Daylan Staude for their hard work. “We are making our mark,” she said.

Article originally appeared in the Daily Dispatch 23 March 2016