Pop-up Symposium 2024

Accounting Cafe members met in person at St Matthew’s Conference Centre in Westminster, London, on Friday, 26 January 2024, for “Pop-up Symposium 2024”.

St Matthew’s Conference Centre is a hidden jewel in the heart of central London.

Attending Accounting Cafe’s Pop-up Symposium gave me lots of inspiration. First, because you realize there are many ‘like you’. Second, all the ideas fellow accounting educators are trying out. Below I’ll highlight a few.

Games are not a new phenomenon in accounting education — Lego Serious Play and Accounting Monopoly are good examples. However, Lim Teoh and his colleagues from the University of Winchester presented a game they built using ‘Blookit’. A distinctive feature of Lim’s approach is integrating ‘altruism’. To advance, students must help Lim create journal entries. This brought to mind Ken Bain’s book ‘Supercourses’ (2021) in which he describes altruism as a hidden superpower. 

Another great motivator, according to Bain, is social belonging. This was the focus of John Magpayo from Middlesex University, who has established a social club for accounting and economics students to gather. They play board games and are provided with free tea and coffee. John reports that students connect in a low-stakes environment, having fun and thereby creating a safe place to learn.

Similarly, Neil Dunne reinforced the importance of nurturing relationships in his presentation about becoming a Programme Manager. He emphasised building relationships with students and staff and moving beyond the institution, for example, liaising with the professional accountancy bodies.

“Real life” issues were a common theme among some of the other presentations. Ali Hepburn, from the University of Brighton, advocates for more real life auditing education. Similarly, Agnes Grondin from Middlesex University demonstrated how to make clear to students how their studies relate to career connections and employability skills. Richard Jones outlined how his Tax Clinic is giving students a taste of giving real advice to local businesses. Tosin Akande closed the cycle by showcasing ICAEW’s current research projects and how they relate to societal demands of accounting. 

What hidden superpowers are you using in your course — altruism, sense of belonging, real-world examples, or something else?

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