Finance Indaba 2016: Monash South Africa produces industry-ready graduates


"We understand that the current financial landscape requires innovation, creativity and the need to understand and address a great variety of complex issues, and have therefore aligned our programmes to prepare students as effectively as possible for the business and economics sphere," says Professor Humphrey Gowar from Monash South Africa (MSA), a platinum partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2016 on 13 and 14 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

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In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is.

"A part of the two-day Finance Indaba programme is dedicated to the development of the accounting and finance profession. Already we have professional bodies, including the dominant South Africa player SAICA, leading tertiary institutions Monash and Wits Business School, recruitment and search firms, leading training providers and a number of great CFOs who will be sharing their insights on how the profession will evolve and the skills and experience that will be critical in 2020 and beyond," says CFO SA MD Graham Fehrsen.

Do you want to hear how Monash South Africa can help finance professionals face their challenges head on? Do you want to be informed about the latest and greatest in finance? Then don't miss the Finance Indaba Africa 2016.

Professor Humphrey Gowar is a subject specialist and lecturer in Postgraduate Management programmes for MSA, including Corporate Governance, Leadership, Ethics, Strategy and Risk, and Integrated Reporting.

He is a Chartered Accountant, and has both academic and practical experience in all facets of auditing, including internal and forensic auditing, as well as corporate law, ethics, corporate governance and management. He is also an author of Graded Questions on Auditing, published by LexisNexis.

Professor Gowar is a member of a variety of influential groups, including being a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FInstD), a Fellow of the Corporate Governance and Sustainability International Group, a member of the International Corporate Governance Group, a member of the Institute of EthicsSA and a member of the International Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics.

The impressive, state of the art MSA campus in Johannesburg is dedicated to support South Africa and the continent to meet its diverse economic and educational needs by producing graduates that are internationally recognised.

MSA has four Schools: Business and Economics, Health Sciences, Information Technology and Social Science and a one-year Foundation Programme as a pathway into the ?undergraduate degree?s?.

It became the first institution in Sub-Saharan Africa to join the Laureate International Universities network in 2013, which has a presence in 28 countries, serving over a million students globally across 80 institutions and online.

Why will MSA be present at the Finance Indaba?
"MSA will be present at the Finance Indaba to share more information about our range of postgraduate degrees and programmes aimed at working professionals and those who aspire to study in the fields of finance, business and management. MSA recently launched a professional Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, which is now available as a study option along with other popular finance-related degrees and programmes, such as our Master of International Business (MIB) degree, our Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting, and our Postgraduate Diploma in Management specialising in Corporate Governance."

What will you be talking about?
"Our team will be talking about the benefits of studying at MSA, as well as the differences and benefits of each of our respective courses. Many of our postgraduate programmes have been specifically designed to fit the lifestyle of the busy working professional, and include a range of flexible study options. One example is our MBA degree which includes both Saturday contact sessions and online learning support, and allows students the flexibility to choose to complete their degree in either 18, 24 or 36 months.

"We understand that the current financial landscape requires innovation, creativity and the need to understand and address a great variety of complex issues, and have therefore aligned our programmes to prepare students as effectively as possible for the business and economics sphere."

What are the challenges you can help finance professionals with in 2016?
"The challenges facing finance professionals have escalated exponentially over the past few years. For example, the increasing complexity of financial reporting such as conventional and corporate governance integrated reporting.

"In addition, there are the challenges of following exchange rates, staying up to date with sophisticated financial instruments and trying to navigate the negative side effects of financial corruption proliferation.

"At MSA we are aware of these challenges and offer undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that address these and other finance issues. Our teaching model has been designed towards the most important strategy: training our students on how to stay relevant and informed when their formal training is complete.

What changes have there been in terms of financial education over the past few years?
"Almost all accounting and business management courses have escalated the finance component of their programmes for the reasons previously discussed.

"Finance is not a discipline that can be self-taught. Expert financial academics are required to teach the complex elements of finance in a manner that is understandable and interesting, but also in a way that allows students to attain a level of financial expertise that can be used in the ever increasing challenges of financial practice. This is a priority at MSA, which we have implemented successfully across our business and management programmes.

Tell us about your MBA degree?
"Many busy professionals who are challenged and motivated to advanced their careers in business often shy away from a part-time MBA due to continuous challenges balancing work and family. To address this problem, our professional MBA degree was specifically designed to offer maximum study flexibility for part-time students seeking better career enhancement prospects.

"Professionals can study on their own terms by enrolling in the MBA anytime during the year, since subjects are offered in 5-week blocks, one subject at a time. If a student finishes a subject and then anticipates a time-sensitive project at work or a major family event, they can simply skip the next 5-week block and resume as needed.

"Besides offering students a high level of theoretical engagement, intellectual independence and the ability to solve complex business problems, the MSA MBA is underpinned by a "use it now" concept, where students are taught how to apply all their learnings immediately in their jobs. This way, students become innovative and creative leaders in dynamic corporate environments.

"The MSA MBA is a degree of, and for, today, and is designed to produce graduates who can make sound business judgments in local and global teams and demonstrate both intellectual confidence and originality. The course uses a blended learning approach that includes online self-study with online voice chats using VoIP technology, in addition to email support, and face-to-face contact sessions with peers and lecturers on selected Saturdays. The result is less frequent, but more focused, trips to our MSA campus in Ruimsig, Roodepoort.

"The MSA MBA is a fully accredited NQF level 9 degree with the South African Qualification Authority. To qualify for admission, prospective students must possess an HEQSF level 8 qualification, for example a four-year degree, a Postgraduate diploma, or an Honours degree. Alternatively, if students have an NQF level 7 qualification, relevant work experience and other credentials they can apply to enter via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)."

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