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The gap between learning and teaching in accounting education: the Saudi Arabian experience

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

  • Nujoud Abdullah Srdar
Over the past few decades, there has been an expectation gap between what accounting education has delivered and what accounting practice has received. Practitioners want university education to train students for specific tasks and circumstances to prepare them for the reality of the work environment. On the other hand, academics want university education to be broad and comprehensive, and carrying an academic character.
The research has made significant contributions to knowledge regarding the nature of the gap between accounting learning and practice in SA. The study has revealed unexpected results in relation to the gap in accounting education, which can be explained through the profession's first appearance in SA and the influence of the American accounting framework on professional accounting education in SA. Moreover, this study has made other contributions in terms of methodology, theory, and practice.
This study uses a novel framework to understand the gap, in the context of Saudi Arabia. The study uses an abductive approach to investigate the 'what' and ' why' reasons for the gap, characterize its details, and propose recommendations for bridging it. It is the first of its kind to analyse qualitatively the perspectives of five main groups of stakeholders in the accounting system (accounting educators, final year students, fresh employees (1-4 year of experience), the professional body and employers) and compare their perspectives about the competencies of accounting graduates.
The findings show that a gap between learning and practice exists in university accounting education in Saudi Arabia. Employers believe that accounting graduates lack the required technical competencies for the workplace. All participant groups affirmed that collaboration between the profession and the academic is in order, to bridge this gap. University accounting curricula need to change and be updated in order to meet the rapid developments in the business environment.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award dateMar 2017

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