UP’s Unit for Internal Audit partners with the University of Porto

Posted on September 03, 2019

The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Unit for Internal Audit and the University of Porto, Portugal, recently strengthened their relations on cooperation and student and staff exchange programmes.

Maria Coimbra, Head of Audit and Internal Control at the University of Porto, said: “My visit to South Africa is to strengthen relations with UP regarding internal auditing and I am hoping to observe and check which methodologies UP’s internal audit uses, approaches about risk management, business continuity plans and other assistance as far as internal auditing is concerned and to learn more about internal audit policies.”

After reading articles on UP’s website about the quality of information concerning the Unit for Internal Audit and the fact that there are forensic specialists involved, she was spurred to visit UP.

Olga Granova-Mooi, Head: UP Unit for Internal Audit, explained that Coimbra’s visit brought an international perspective to UP’s audit and investigative processes, and opened new possibilities for continued knowledge-sharing between UP and Porto. “We share a common vision of internal audit being a value-added service, which helps our universities to remain sustainable and improve.” During her visit, Coimbra toured a number of UP campuses and held informative discussions with staff at the Unit for Internal Audit as well as with several Deans and Directors of UP.

The University of Porto has 32 000 students at 14 faculties and only four internal auditors. In Portugal, internal auditing is not compulsory at universities. The process is done when requested by management.

Another reason for Coimbra’s visit was that she is on the Erasmus+ Programme, which is aimed at fostering mutual enrichment and a better understanding between Portugal as well as 25 programme and partner countries. Furthermore, she is involved the Mobility Unlimited partnership for International Learning Experiences that is financially supported by the European Commission. This allows for the encouragement of student, academic and administrative staff mobility and the transfer of know-how and best practices.

Coimbra said the reality of their Internal Audit is different from UP’s, and that is why it is important for them to partner and share information with a well-established university such as UP.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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