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Australian Quality Assurance Preferences and Practices: A Study of Accounting Schools

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session



Room 6 – 303-B05 Sem



Syed Ashraf
University of Tasmania, Australia

Associate Professor Trevor David Wilmshurst
University of Tasmania, Australia



A review of Quality Assurance (QA) approaches to the assurance of learning adopted by accounting schools in Australia has been undertaken. The approaches adopted to QA are discussed aligned with monitoring, review and improvements in Institutional Quality Assurance (Domain 5, Higher Education Standards Framework, 2015) and professional accreditation requirements of Australian Accounting Professional Bodies and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This study addresses perceived measures in the effective peer review processes of the different QA approaches adopted   to assure learning and the motivations to adopt these approaches.  In this study, thirty-nine business schools offering accounting degrees were surveyed and sixteen participants from eight accounting schools that offer postgraduate degrees in the accounting discipline were interviewed. These schools included those accredited and non-accredited with the AACSB.  The intention was also to identify any differences in QA practices between schools that hold accreditation with AACSB and those who do not and the impact this has on the achievement of communication as a threshold learning outcome and employability. Employers’ identify this as an important attribute and appear not to be satisfied with accounting graduates communication skills. This study adopts a mixed method approach focused on surveys and interviews, surveys to collect the basic information and interviews to enrich and explore further issues arising from the survey data. Survey data was analyzed using SPSS; interviews were analyzed using thematic content analysis and a manual coding scheme. In summary, the study found that (i) AACSB accreditation has been acquired by business (accounting) schools for marketing purposes, and (ii) the majority of sampled accounting schools did not undertake peer-reviews towards external referencing but considered calibration as an effective measure of peer-review process. 


Presentation topic

Tertiary – Governance and Management

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