Stellenbosch University Students Praised Over High SAICA Initial Test of Competence (ITC)

Stellenbosch University Students Praised Over High SAICA Initial Test of Competence (ITC)

Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, a cohort of Stellenbosch University (SU) candidates excelled in the Initial Test of Competence (ITC) of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

The ITC is the first of two professional qualifying examinations aspiring chartered accountants must pass on their journey to achieving the CA(SA) designation. The test, which is written twice a year, tests candidates’ ability to apply technical competence gained during the SAICA accredited academic programme which consists of an undergraduate and a postgraduate programme. The results were recently released.

A total of 266 BAccounting Honours (BAccHons) and Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA) 2021 candidates of the University’s School of Accounting (SOA) sat the ITC exam in January this year, the most of all 15 SAICA accredited residential universities and private providers (the University of Johannesburg is second with 227 candidates).

The cohort obtained a 97% pass rate, compared to a national pass rate of 78%. This places SU third among the 15 residential providers nationally.

The University also delivered by far the largest number of candidates nationwide of all providers who passed the exam the first time with 257 passes (the University of Johannesburg is second with 172 passes).

Alumna Lauren Tsafandakis clinched the top spot in the ITC, with four other SU candidates also clinching a spot in the top 10. This includes Caleigh Robson (third position); Petra Laubscher (2022 academic trainee) (sixth position); Dillon Ribeiro (seventh position) and Robert Searle (joint ninth position).

All of them passed the exam with honours (75% or more).

“These SAICA results prove, once again, that Stellenbosch University is succeeding in its vision of being a leading African institution of higher education that produces graduates who strive for excellence. Despite the difficult circumstances created by the pandemic, our School of Accounting has delivered top-notch accountants into the sector,” SU’s Rector and Vice-Chancelor Prof Wim de Villiers said.

“I want to congratulate our alumni and the dedicated staff who assisted them on their journey to success. South Africa’s financial sector is stronger because of their hard work and determination.”

Said Prof Pieter von Wielligh, Director and Vice-Dean: School of Accountancy and current Acting Vice-Dean: Learning and Teaching of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences,  “The excellent achievement by the SOA’s BAccHons and PGDA students in the ITC not only underlines the quality of the teaching offered by the SOA in a very concrete and visible way, but also the calibre of students that the SOA attracts and how they then apply themselves to develop holistically by using the enabling environment that the SOA and greater university creates for them.

“The SOA is immensely proud of the excellent performance of its class of 2021, who will now go on to become the business leaders of the future, both locally and internationally, adding value to not just the business community, but also to society at large. This comes amid the challenges, trials and tribulations that staff, current students and alumni have been experiencing since March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Against this backdrop, it is a truly remarkable achievement.”​