Integrated reporting (<IR>) has been promoted by influential international organisations as the communication vehicle that provides concise, future-oriented and strategically relevant information and integrates financial, social and environmental elements to providers of the capitals and other interested parties. Increasing adoption of <IR> globally envisages significant implications for accounting education and the accounting curriculum, for both professional and academic training necessary for the “new” corporate reporting protocol. This paper reviews integrated reporting literature to access the principles and frameworks and outputs articulated by these influential organisations. In view of the suggested reporting outcomes, fundamental guiding principles and the main components of an integrated report, it is envisaged that the “new” accounting curricula would focus more on the longer-term than the shorter-term, more on corporate strategic outlook than operational or transactional processes; more prospective rather than retrospective analysis and reporting on wider business performance metrics than on narrower external financial reporting data or audit compliance. While leading global professional accountancy bodies (e.g., ACCA & CIMA) have already fully incorporated integrated reporting principles within their curriculum at the professional level, only few universities outside Nigeria have incorporated integrated reporting principles or learning outcomes within their existing curriculum. The paper calls on Accounting Departments of universities to incorporate <IR> principles into their course offerings.
Keywords: Accounting Curriculum, Nigeria, Social Responsibility, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainability, integrated reporting
Factors Influencing Competence Acquisition through Field Attachment among Makerere University Undergraduate Students of Agriculture in Uganda (Published)
The agricultural sector in Uganda is still underdeveloped partly due to the low competence of agricultural professionals. Universities adopted practical training approaches including field attachment, to train and supply professionals who possess leadership, entrepreneurship, communication, facilitation, negotiation, teamwork and organizational planning competences in addition to their formal knowledge in areas of specialization. However, the extent to which graduates acquire these competences through field attachment remains unclear given continued reports of limited work-related competences among agricultural graduates. This study assessed the learning process, motivations as well as constraints to competence acquisition through field attachment using the experiences of undergraduate students of the School of Agricultural Sciences (SAS), Makerere University – Kampala. Data were collected through document review of 437 students’ field attachment reports and individual interviews with 65 students. Data were analyzed using SPSS 18 and thematic content analysis. The findings showed that trough field attachment, students participated in agricultural field activities and acquired both technical and work related competences. However, most placement organizations had a limited span of value chain activities; the attachment duration was deemed very short; the timing was inappropriate and the quality of supervision was low. These challenges limited skills acquisition to basic crop and animal husbandry and less of the value addition, entrepreneurship and marketing competences. To enhance the quality of field attachment, duration of the programme ought to be reviewed to at least a full semester or a year. Strengthening collaboration with other stakeholders could be helpful to improve programme financing and supervision. It is critical to ensure that the university result into graduates with the right knowledge, attitudes and skills to make meaningful contribution to agricultural development.
Keywords: Field Attachment, Graduate Competences, Higher Education, Practical Training, Programme Design, Stakeholder Engagement, Undergraduate Students