Australia has been known for influx of international students and its higher education, especially among Asian students. The country is well known for its English taught programs and western teaching style. And its close enough for most of the students due to its ideal position on the map. It is a well-known popular destination among international students of China, Malaysia. Nepal, Vietnam and India. Many students stay behind to settle down in the country. Australia has benefited from the global demand for English language taught system (Staff, 2019). International students have also stated that the cost of studying in Australia is cheaper than in the United Kingdom or in the United States. Australia’s close proximity to Asia is beneficial to the country as it has enjoyed cordial relations with China for at least three decades. The immigration policy encourages foreign students to stay after graduation which has helped Australia develop very effective marketing and student services (Nerlich, 2018)
Australia has seen that the number of international students has increased by 12% and among the total numbers China takes the largest proportion of 31% (Marginson, 2015). Even though Australia is at the top, the locals may have a different thought about the saturation of international students. In a study by JWS research, which was reported by Universities Australia, it was found that an overwhelming acknowledges the importance of international students and their significant impact on the economy. The study was conducted with 1500 people, which showed that 81% of Australians recognize international education as a major contribution to national prosperity (Mulrow, 2000)
According to Time Higher Education, “The figure grew to 85 per cent after respondents had been given specifics about the revenue flows and job creation attributable to international education. Almost three in five deemed foreign students’ financial contribution “very” or “vitally” important.” The international education generates income in the form of export income which is about $34.9 billion a year for Australia which is currently supporting more than 240,000 jobs across the country and is the third largest export.
International student’s currently study in major cities of Australia which is enriching these metropolitan communities. Regional Australia has education providers with excellent reputation which offer unique community life and international students take advantage of the existing assets and unlock benefits for themselves which has enabled Australia as a whole. Furthermore, Australia’s quality assurance mechanisms and student protection arrangements respond fast to the rapid changes in technology and models of delivery which enable flexibility for the students (Hoare, 2014)
The expert members of the Council for International Education have implemented a Strategy and the Australian International Education 2015 (AIE2025) market developing roadmap. This has laid a groundwork to build international education in Australia.
The accounting profession is always shaped by sudden large-scale shifts, such as globalization, automation and artificial intelligence. Universities in Australia have a very agile approach to educating students about professional accounting. Most graduates have fool-proof future plans which makes them immediately read to practice the course (MPA in Australia). They become technical experts but they also gain valuable communication and leadership skills. These soft-skills are the most sought after non-technical skills that recruiters or employers look for. Deloitte Access Economics has stated in their article that two-thirds of all jobs by 2030 will have employees who have intensive soft skills when compared to 2000 (O’Mahony, 2017). Students, who come from countries where BBA is taught in theoretical manner, often find it difficult to put the knowledge into practical use. The units taught in MPA program in Australia provide both analytical as well technical skills which help in professional development (Staff, 2018)
Apart from banks, other organizations require an accountant which is becoming an increasing in demand in Australia. Therefore, many students feel that studying MPA while in Australia can be a great career opportunity. Accounting students get access to professionals through internships, placements, programs and accounting programs by taking part in industry placement programs. These allow the students for the companies who are leading nationally and internationally when studying in Australian. Students doing MPA from Australia can participate in programs that make them work-ready; such as the NEXT innovation program. This programs allows the students to work with mentors from Deloitte, and Commonwealth Scientific and industrial Research Organization or CSIRO and even Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Davis, 2004)
Basic knowledge and basic accounting is something most students have but students also desire professional skills which can help them compete in this competitive market. The competition stems from one need and desire to earn more. Therefore, pay rate also plays an important role when choosing a career path for MPA students (MBA vs MPA program. What’s the difference?)
The use of credit and debit cards is slowly declining and being replaced by newer technology. Students wish to learn about these new developments and they believe that MPS courses provide hands-on knowledge about famous accounting services like MYOB and Xerox (Rogers-Winarto, 2006)
Furthermore, students and working people alike nowadays wish that they could travel around the globe with a degree that’s internationally recognized. The MPA degree has proven its worth as being one of the most internationally recognized programs in the world.
MPA in Australia has been designed in a manner that it acts as a conversion course by giving students from non-accounting background an opportunity to develop their accounting skills and knowledge. These is to gain information on the increasingly complex and fast-growing discipline of accounting and finance. Many international students who come to Australia wish to enhance their academic qualifications by obtaining membership from Australian accounting professional bodies (Why get an MPA degree? Six reasons to study a Master of Public Administration) Normally after completion of a degree in accounting, students become eligible to further pursue professional studies to become qualified professional accountants. But students have an MPA meet all the requirements for the foundation level and thus become exempted from studying CPA foundation level courses (Smith, 2018).
In order to become recognized professional accountants, students who come to Australia must been the membership requirements by the professional bodies. This usually requires completion of both education and practical training experience. With CPA, candidates have to complete six professional subjects known as the CPA professional segments. Many Australian universities have developed self-made programs that support the CPA professional level studies thereby enabling students to get a postgraduate qualification. The program meets the academic requirements of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA) (King & Masters, 2011).
Apart from the core area, such as accounting, financial management and auditing, students studying MPA in Australia are introduced to other disciplines like business law, taxation, information system and quantitative methods (Matei, 2010). International students completing MPA will learn and understand the main elements of accounting as a discipline. Furthermore, they will also learn financial context of how business works which includes the professional practice, ethics and procedures (Duhs &Guest, Economics Education in Australia)
As most students are busy professionals, the program is designed to fit the schedules and it’s usually offered in two formats. Students joining the open enrollment have the flexibility with their classes and in the cohort model, a group moves together as a unit and do not have much flexibility. Graduates of all disciplines, which includes arts and STEM subjects can enhance their business skills (Yang, 2013)
Research on MPA as an important choice for a program hasn’t been discussed very extensively as mentioned by Neto, Viera and Oyadomari (2018). They wrote an essay which talked about the lack of harmony between academic research and the need for practitioners in the field of Accounting and Management and how it’s well known which has made it a topic for discussion in academia. The essay contributed to the discussion of professional master’s role. They proposed that by using interventive research as an alternating methodology in professional masters, it can be used to solve problems from practice and by creating knowledge. Further, CAPES evaluation criteria needs to be improved.
Watty and Bellamy (2008) reported a research survey which investigates reasons for academia from a business disciplines, about how they enter and remain in academia and the conditions in the Australian academia which make it an ideal place for work satisfaction. They concluded that autonomy was the most important factor for achieving ideal work satisfaction.
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