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Akademia lecturer wins CIMA award a second time

Published on: 27 January 2023

Michelle Coetzee, a passionate lecturer at Akademia, received the Award of Excellence for Teaching (honourable mention) of CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) in 2021 and again in 2022. Coetzee teaches Accounting, Tax and Auditing at Akademia.

Coetzee was nominated by her own students for this award and was one of 650 lecturers nominated by institutions to be considered by a central panel. “This award is evidence of the close association between Akademia’s BCom (Management Accounting) degree and the CIMA curriculum as well as the lecturers’ successful teaching efforts. It is a special honour to be able to receive this award for the second time,” she mentioned.

She decribes auditors as problem-solvers who excel in critical and strategic thinking. “My passion for problem-solving cultivated my exceptional fondness of auditing.” This eventually motivated her to quality as a chartered accountant. Amidst her busy schedule at Akademia, she also obtained her master’s degree in computer auditing at the end of 2022.

She finds academic life exciting, because it enables her to relate students’ existing knowledge with new subject matter in a meaningful way. “It is extremely satisfying to stimulate critical thinking and to inspire students to apply their knowledge in order to make a lasting impact, although it is challenging to make use of a variety of presentation strategies to satisfy individual learning requirements.”

It is important to her to help develop her students as critical thinkers. “‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ (2 Timothy 1:7). By means of this exceptional spirit, I succeed in blending audit learning practices with teaching and educational goals in order to develop critical thinking of the students,” she said.

She reaches her class at an intellectual level by lecturing in the students’ mother tongue. “The Afrikaans poet Totius preached in our language; T. T. Cloete and N.P. Van Wyk Louw wrote poetry in our language; Karen Zoid celebrates singing in our language, and Akademia lecturers in our language. I reach my students by making use of plain and understandable auditing terminology during contact sessions.” Her advice to fellow lecturers is to reconsider their individual perspectives on a regular basis and to reflect regarding their teaching and educational practices at all times.

Dr Rachel Maritz, dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at Akademia said the following in closing: “It is a huge compliment to Michelle Coetzee that her students nominated her for this award on the basis of her dedication, commitment to the students and her excellent ability to put across the knowledge related to her field. The award is once again an indication of the quality of Akademia’s teaching and qaulifications as adjudicated by an independent international professional body.”

Akademia is proud to have such an ambitious and strong ambassador in our body of lecturers and we look forward to all that Michelle is still to achieve.

Michelle Coetzee is a expert in the field of auditing who won the CIMA Award of Excellence for Teaching in 2021 and 2022.