UKZN’s School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (SAEF) hosted its annual Research Day in partnership with the Research Office at the College of Law and Management Studies.

The event is a strategic initiative aimed at contributing towards increasing research output within the School.

Academic Leader: Higher Degrees and Research, Professor Josue Mbonigaba, in his welcome address stressed that research was a strategic objective for the University and by holding an annual research day, academics in SAEF contribute to this objective.

College Dean of Research, Professor Harold Ngalawa spoke on how the University had always taken pride in being a research-led institution, emphasising that research and teaching had to go hand-in-hand, which is why the College of Law and Management Studies had “cross-cutting” Deans of Research and Teaching and Learning.

A plenary session began with a case study presentation on Academic Perspectives on Accounting Curriculum Reform conducted by Accounting lecturers to review the UKZN BCom Accounting degree and make recommendations about appropriate improvements.

The rest of the day was broken up into parallel sessions which included presentations across the Disciplines of Accounting, Economics and Finance with about 35 presentations made.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College, Professor Brian McArthur, applauded the School for holding the Research Day, especially at the start of the year, saying it set a positive tone for research for the year.

McArthur said he was struck by the variety of papers on the programme – many of them highlighting the University’s emphasis on impactful and applied research – stressing that while quantity remained important, the College was looking into how to measure and reward quality and impactful research.

The day ended with recognition awards presented by the Higher Degrees Committee for the best performing academics in the 2018 academic year. Awards for top supervisors were presented to Professor Mabutho Sibanda who graduated six students, Professor Trevor Jones who graduated five students and Dr Farai Kwenda who also graduated five students.

Awards for top researchers in the College went to Professor Harold Ngalawa, Dr Gerry Bokana, Professor Mabutho Sibanda and Dr Paul Muzundutsi.

Dean and Head of School Professor Mabutho Sibanda closed proceedings by commending the level of dedication, hard work and commitment that went into all the presentations.

‘The main goal now is to turn all the presentations into publications and, as a School, work towards meeting the University’s publication target,’ said Sibanda.

‘I am proud to be a member of the School. Let us promote quality and publish as much as we can,’ he added.

Words and photograph: Lungile Ngubelanga