teaching and learning accounting finance comparison between uk and china
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Teaching and Learning Accounting & Finance: Comparison between UK and China

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Teaching and Learning Accounting & Finance: Comparison between UK and China. Mingzhu Wang March 2009. Background. The UK is the second largest host of Chinese students studying abroad after the US. Each year, around 5000 Chinese students are studying in the UK universities.

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  • The UK is the second largest host of Chinese students studying abroad after the US.
  • Each year, around 5000 Chinese students are studying in the UK universities.
  • Accounting and finance seems to be one of Chinese students’ favourite choices in the UK.
  • Differences in learning and teaching accounting and finance between the UK and China.

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professional education in the uk
Professional Education in the UK
  • Professional education in accounting has a long history in the UK, which could be traced back to the initially in-house training in 18th century.
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland ( ICAS ) established in 1854, is the world\'s first professional body of accountants.
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is a world-class professional accountancy body.
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is now a global body for professional accountants.
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA) established in 1919 has grown to become one of the largest international accountancy bodies.
  • Universities provide accounting and finance programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, which give accreditation towards ACCA or CIMA.

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professional education in china
Professional Education in China
  • Education in accounting and finance only progressed significantly in 1990s after the economic reform in China.
  • Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountant (CICPA) established in 1988 is the accounting professional body in China. CICPA is using US GAAP.
  • Universities in China started to provide accounting and finance programs in 1990s. A few of them provide accreditation to ACCA.
  • There has been a shortage of accounting and finance teachers with professional qualification or doctorates degree.

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differences in the degree structure
Differences in the Degree Structure
  • UK
  • Combined degree
  • (accounting and finance,
  • accounting and business, etc.)
  • Flexible structure with more elective modules
  • Practical Orientated
  • Elective dissertation
  • China
  • Separate degree
  • (accounting, finance, etc.)
  • Fixed structure (students can get the degree if they passed all the compulsory modules)
  • Theoretic Orientated
  • Compulsory dissertation

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comparison in the teaching approach
Comparison in the Teaching Approach
  • China
  • Lecture dominated
  • Brief outline of topics
  • Focus on a particular text book
  • (Proverb: “A good text book is enough to learn a subject”)
  • Use to criticise students
  • (Proverb: “Praise will spoil students while criticism will improve them”)
  • Questioning after lectures
  • UK
  • Combined (Lecture, seminar, workshop, etc.)
  • Detailed module guide
  • Broad reading list
  • Used to praise students
  • Questioning during lectures

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comparison in the assessment
Comparison in the Assessment
  • China
  • Exam dominated
  • Individual work
  • Memorizing and reciting
  • (Proverb: “you’ll become a poet if you can recite 300 poems”)
  • Plagiarism is less strict in student essays, although it rules the same as in the UK for published papers or books.
  • UK
  • Combined assessment
  • (exam, project, presentation, etc.)
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking
  • Plagiarism

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comparison in the student learning
Comparison in the Student Learning
  • China
  • Dependent (learning community)
  • Strategic learning
  • Silent reflecting
  • (Proverb: “half bottle of water makes louder noise”)
  • National learning environment

Few international students

Visiting international staffs only available for postgraduates.

  • UK
  • Independent (modules choice)
  • A variety of learning approaches
  • Presenting
  • International learning environment

International students

International staffs

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major problems encountered by chinese students

Chinese way of thinking

British way of thinking

Major Problems Encountered by Chinese Students
  • Independence
  • Incompetence in English
  • The problems Chinese students encounter in English speaking in the UK higher education settings have been studied by Chan and Drover (1997) and Valimaa (1998)
  • Cultural conflict

Relationship with teachers

Way of thinking

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what we can do as teachers
What we can do as teachers?
  • Be aware of the cultural difference
  • Be aware of international students’ incompetence in English. Do not take it for granted that international students understand some basic terminologies used in our teaching.
  • Differentiate deliberate plagiarism and the plagiarism caused by lack of confidence in English.
  • Give international students some transition period to get used to the UK teaching.
  • Encourage group discussions among international students who are used to reflect silently or shy to express their opinions.

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