This was the title of the first online seminar organized by the EAA’s Educational Committee on Monday 14th December, with almost three hundred colleagues registered based in 50 different countries (68% Europe, 13% Asia, 6% Australia/NZ, 6% North America, 4% South America, 2% Africa). We sparked an open conversation around the future of Accounting Education, by bringing insights from colleagues in our worldwide community having complementary perspectives. We are grateful to Emmanuelle Le Nagard (ESSEC, Paris), Boniswa Madikizela (University of Johannesburg, South Africa), Joao Paulo Resende de Lima (Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil), who kindly accepted our invitation. All them accompanied by the organizers, Greg Stoner (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow Scotland), Nick McGuigan (Monash University, Australia) and Adrián Zicari (ESSEC, Paris). We learned from a rich diversity of viewpoints, coming from different countries, and including different economic and social backgrounds.
It was an intense and insightful discussion. Among the many issues raised, three are particularly salient. One relates to the long-term consequences of the shift towards online teaching that happened during the lockdown. Beyond the problems identified with online teaching, some participants see opportunities for positive change, for instance by being able to reach to more students, even at remote places, and by bringing practitioners to the class more easily. However, the risk of massification and dilution of education quality remains present.
The second consideration relates to students coming back to their homes when the campus suddenly closes. The experience of staying at home during the academic period can be challenging for many students. Beyond technical issues (e.g. having a laptop and a reliable internet connection), each household is different, and for many reasons, students may find in their home a less supportive environment for their studies.
Finally, there is a fundamental issue of how to integrate different perspectives such as integrated thinking, design thinking and interdisciplinary issues into Accounting Education, thus preparing our students for an increasingly challenging and complex world.
We ended the meeting with a positive tone, evoking our shared passion for Education, and our enthusiasm about this new space of discussion and learning. We are looking forward to the next seminars of the EAA’s Accounting Education Committee.
You can watch the video here.