UP’s Department of Financial Management academics win international excellence awards from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Posted on December 21, 2021

Elize Kirsten and Dr Zack Enslin, both senior lecturers in the Department of Financial Management at the University of Pretoria (UP), received global honours at the 2021 Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Excellence Awards.

CIMA, a global professional management accounting body which offers training and qualification in management accountancy and related subjects, conferred the awards at the second edition of the CIMA Excellence Awards virtual ceremony on 10 December 2021. The annual awards recognise institutions and individuals across the world going above and beyond to shape the next generation of chartered global management accountants and lead the accounting profession into the future.

   Elize Kirsten and Dr Zack Enslin: Department of Financial Management.

Kirsten received the CIMA Teaching Excellence Award for demonstrating excellent engagement with students and effectively enhancing their understanding of the subject. Speaking about the award, she said she was elated to receive the recognition from CIMA. Her teaching excellence is informed by her quest to see students succeed and ready for the world of work, she says.

“I am always trying to improve my offering to best prepare the students for the changing shape of the finance function. The students should have a practice- and work-driven approach. Every topic includes discussions on real-world examples and/or simulated applications prepared by myself and the students. I encourage discussions of interesting and relevant real-world examples from students, whether online or in class, spurring curiosity and developing lifelong, independent learners,” she said.

Dr Enslin was awarded the CIMA Employability Excellence Award for actively promoting engagement between students and employers in the profession. Dr Enslin, who seeks to assist students in being successful in their career endeavours, was recognised for the FIN702 Strategic Management Accounting Practical Case Study Project.

This case study project, which is part of the annual syllabus of FIN702 module, helps students gain experience in the business world. It provides students with practical business skills while they analyse businesses and provide recommendations for improvement.

“Annually, students are allocated to 10 groups for the practical case study project. Over the past seven years, around 70 business in our area have become aware of the benefits these graduates can bring to the business. The practical experience gained by the students is also irreplaceable in assisting them in better preparing for job interviews and to start off with some actual experience when employed,” said Dr Enslin.

UP was also awarded a Regional High Distinction (Africa) for the CIMA Prize-Winner Award and the CIMA Global Excellence Award for having the top students in the Management and Strategic Case Study exams in 2020 and 2021, and for having the third-highest number of CIMA exams taken in South Africa.

Head of the Department of Financial Management Dr John Hall said he was proud of the academics in his department for striving for excellence in their teaching.

“These awards are testimony to the close alignment of our BCom Financial Sciences and BCom (Hons) in Financial Sciences programmes to the CIMA curricula as well as the efforts of all staff members teaching on these programmes,” said Dr Hall.

Andrew Harding, Chief Executive – Management Accounting at CIMA, commented: “It is an honour to recognise and celebrate those who have demonstrated remarkable commitment to their students and the accounting profession in the past year. All our winners and nominees are doing incredible work to help future generations realise their potential and give their career a head start. We are proud to call you our partners and truly appreciate your support.” 

This year, over 400 nominations from educational institutions and individuals were submitted for consideration in four categories; CIMA Teaching Excellence Award, CIMA Research Excellence Award, CIMA Campus Culture Excellence Award and CIMA Employability Excellence Award. In addition, a central award committee selected winners for the CIMA Prize-Winner Excellence Award, CIMA Global Excellence Award, and CGMA Campus of the Year Award based on CIMA exam performance in 2020 and 2021.

- Author Refilwe Mabula

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