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Milpark Education intros online accountancy diploma

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Mandi Olivier, senior executive for professional development at SAICA.
Mandi Olivier, senior executive for professional development at SAICA.

Aspiring chartered accountants (CAs) now have an option to enrol for a fully online postgraduate diploma in accountancy (PGDA), through Milpark Education's new online courses.

Milpark Education is a provider of accredited online, distance and contact business qualifications, courses and training in SA, with a footprint throughout Africa.

The educational institution says it is now offering SA's first fully online PGDA, accredited by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

The first intake will be in July.

Until recently, chartered accountancy education was divided into either contact education or distance education, notes Milpark Education.

"We have been working towards an innovative solution in this space since 2010 and we're excited about the opportunities online chartered accountant education brings," says Gareth Olivier, PGDA programme head at Milpark.

"Our PGDA has significant potential to widen access for prospective CAs and also to deliver a significantly improved educational experience. Being fully online, the programme is available to prospective CAs (SA) from anywhere in the world and is the first true alternative to traditional distance education in this space."

The challenges facing South African universities, such as high tuition and facilities costs, high student-to-lecturer ratios and severe underfunding by the state, mean professional bodies must search for innovative ways to make quality education more accessible.

Milpark Education says its PGDA was born out of its partnership with CA Connect, a long-standing contributor to SAICA-accredited postgraduate programmes at various universities.

"Students are guided throughout the learning process with a series of short videos on each topic, practise questions, live (day and evening) group online discussions, as well as one-on-one live online discussions with lecturers," notes Olivier.

The online tools track students' behavioural analytics to deliver personalised learning and engage students proactively, sometimes before they even realise they need support.

The programme's Web site includes full details and videos explaining how the programme works, as well as details for applications and queries.

Accountancy body SAICA provides support services to over 46 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants, as well as associate general accountants and accounting technicians, who hold various positions within the field.

Mandi Olivier, senior executive for professional development at SAICA, explains: "For programmes to be accredited by SAICA, higher education providers undergo a rigorous and extensive process to ensure their programme has the necessary resources in place to deliver a high-quality programme leading to a CA (SA) qualification."

"Having undergone the formal accreditation process, we are confident Milpark Education's postgraduate diploma is backed by the necessary resources to meet the standards set by SAICA."

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