University of Gdansk (POLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 1833-1844
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1367
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Nowadays universities are expected to adjust their educational offer to the labor market needs. Therefore, HEI should propose teaching curricula allowing alumni to get attractive and well-paid jobs. Such specializations as Accounting, ACCA Accounting, Statutory Auditors’ Accounting, CFA Finance should be mentioned among those educational developments. This article discuses findings of the second stage of the full research project titled “Research on the students’ knowledge of the brands of professional auditing and accounting bodies”. The entire project concerned full-time non-certified accounting and finance master of science students at the Faculty of Management (FM) of the University of Gdansk (UG) in Poland.

We were interested in:
- why they chose a non-accredited curriculum in accounting instead of the ACCA-accredited one,
- whether at the time of decision-making they were aware of benefits the ACCA-accredited programme,
- if the students of non-ACCA-accredited study in accounting are aware of activities performed and qualifications offered by the organization,
- if the students of non-accredited studies are aware of the Polish National Statutory Auditor qualifications.

A direct questionnaire survey was the research method. The questions were given to a group of 31 students who enrolled to a standard non-accredited master-of-science programme in accounting at the FM of the UG. The response rate scored 100% thanks to a compulsory nature of the study. The questionnaire consisted of 30 questions divided into two segments. In the first segment we asked about motives behind choosing the non-certified curriculum, skill in the English language, career plans, and opportunities for other qualifications in finance and accounting. The second segment concerned the students’ awareness of the ACCA brand, the qualifications offered thereby, benefits of studying in the certified programme, and other HEIs offering ACCA-accredited studies.

We found out that:
- 48% of the surveyed students did not choose the ACCA-accredited studies due to subjectively perceived mediocre knowledge and skills in the English language,
- 10% of the participants declared English at C1 advanced level, and 23% at FCE level,
- 35% of the sample stated that MSc in “ordinary” accounting is enough to get an attractive and well-remunerated job,
- 90% of the researched students link their professional career with accounting and finance.

The research has been limited to only one group of full-time students. It is worth of mentioning that both in Poland and worldwide the demand for specialists in accounting and finance increases. Hence, awareness of employers’ most required qualifications is essential for both universities and future alumni. Therefore, questions concerning those issues should asked to all kinds of accounting and finance students across all universities in the local and international perspective.

The value of the research manifests itself in providing valuable information on why students choose various specializations in accounting and finance. Moreover, it is very important to know whether they both take decisions about non-accredited studies knowingly and are aware of benefits of holding titles from renown accreditation bodies. Knowledge about these issues should allow the HEIs’ decision-makers to adjust the educational offer to young people’s expectations concerning attractive and well-remunerated jobs and to promote vocational opportunities.
Students, study programme, Accounting, University of Gdansk, Poland.