Facilitating learning of public governance, management, administration, accounting and finance among undergraduates majoring in accounting and other commerce disciplines
Type of content
Purpose – This article is descriptive and reflective. It contributes to knowledge about designing and staging undergraduate study programmes in the interrelated areas of accounting, finance, management and governance for, of and about governments, public sector organisations and public services. The focus is at the level of a course, otherwise known as a paper, module or unit, rather than either the level of a study programme (or similar) or of teaching techniques (or similar).
Method –. The empirical materials are drawn from the experiences of the author relating to two final-year courses for undergraduates majoring in accounting and other commerce disciplines at an Aotearoa New Zealand university, and include the voices of students participating in them, as provided from a learning reflection assessment at the end of the series of classes. The courses cover Public Management and Governance and Public Accounting and Finance, and are in successive semesters. Both comprise learning within the smallest unit for which participants are awarded credit towards a qualification, each counting as 15 points, or credits, on the scale used in the university and across New Zealand, being the equivalent of 15 CATS or 7.5 ECTS in equivalent scales in Europe and 3.75 Credit Hours in equivalent scales in North America. Findings – The descriptive analysis relates several matters. With the courses being advertised as “student-centred”, it starts with the participants, the majority and the vast majority being accounting majors aspiring to enter the accounting profession. Related after that are matters about the other participant in both courses, that is the lecturer responsible for designing and staging them, and the author of this article. The rest of the descriptive findings cover matters of context, subject matter, learning and assessment. Notable are the use of learning materials comprising case studies, and videos, podcasts, official and other documents, etc. on local regional and international current affairs and events (e.g., Budget Day in the Parliament in Wellington). The assessments comprise blogs about, for example, the broad responsibilities of officials to society, financial statement items, service reporting, capitals and accountabilities; team assessments and presentations to the student audience; the aforementioned learning reflections; and final examinations. These descriptive findings are enriched with student data to give a sense of student opinions, emotions, etc. These indicate students realising that the business world, on which most of the other courses in their degrees are based, is much more partial than they had thought before studying either of the courses featured in the article. Besides, they realise the availability of the many opportunities there are in public services and public bodies to develop a career. And they extend their appreciation of business operations having broader characteristics, including their consequences for human societies, economies and natural environments. Originality value –This article is unusual for analysing an entire course, rather than some particular feature, or teaching technique, or some aspect of students. It is unique in covering a public sector accounting course (or public sector management course) in this way.
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
Fields of Research::35 - Commerce, management, tourism and services::3501 - Accounting, auditing and accountability