Launch of the South African Tax Educators Association

Posted on July 25, 2012

The SATEA’s objective is to effect the collaboration of tax academics in South Africa to ensure the promotion of research, research training, supervision training, teaching and publications in the field of taxation. A record-breaking number of tax academics from 13 South African universities were present at the launch. The universities that were represented are the universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosh, Witwatersrand, Kwazulu-Natal, the Free State, Johannesburg, the Western Cape, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Monash, North-West University, Unisa, Rhodes University and the University of Pretoria.

The first day of the meeting focused on research in taxation and commenced with a session presented by Prof Keith Engel, Chief Director of Legal Tax Design at the National Treasury. He discussed the basic income tax policies as employed by the Income Tax Act. This discussion was followed by a presentation by Stian Klue, Chief Executive of SAIT. A proposed tax practitioner qualification was explained during this presentation. In another presentation, Prof Lilla Stack provided valuable information on the research methodologies specifically relevant to research in taxation.

During the afternoon session, six members of the Association, namely Prof Craig West from the University of Cape Town, Theuns Steyn, Sharon Smulders and Gerhard Nienaber from the University of Pretoria and Profs Jan Venter and Bernadene de Clercq from Unisa were granted time to present their current research. Day one was concluded with a brief on the global development of teaching and learning in taxation by Kerry de Hart from Unisa.

Day two of the association meeting focused on tax education with the aim to collaborate and share innovation in tax education. Dr Pieter du Toit from the Department of Humanities Education at the Groenkloof Campus of the University of Pretoria opened the session with a presentation on ‘Whole Brain Learning’. This presentation brought the need to facilitate learning in a new way, closer to home.

Thereafter a presentation by Ms Theresa Hills from the Department of Taxation at the University of Pretoria demonstrated practical examples of incorporating pervasive competencies into an undergraduate taxation curriculum. In order to understand the expectations on academics, Prof Amanda Singleton from the Department of Taxation at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University shared her views on the scholarship of teaching and learning, and how academics can make teaching count. The day was closed with a presentation by Dr Liz Archer from Unisa on the use of open educational resources to share what universities of the future will look like.

The day proved to be an insightful and encouraging for all attendees. The Department of Taxation was a true ambassador for the University of Pretoria in the leadership role it played in the launch of a national taxation academics platform.

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