Students impress with presentation skills

2019-07-10 06:00
The University of the Free State’s team of Accounting students that won this year’s Project Alpha competition. From the left are Kyle du Bruyn, Luke Rhode, Janri du Toit, Nicolaas van Zyl, Mojalefa Mosala (Business Ethics lecturer), Bianca Malan, Lorandi Koegelenberg and Frans Benecke. Photo: Supplied

The University of the Free State’s team of Accounting students that won this year’s Project Alpha competition. From the left are Kyle du Bruyn, Luke Rhode, Janri du Toit, Nicolaas van Zyl, Mojalefa Mosala (Business Ethics lecturer), Bianca Malan, Lorandi Koegelenberg and Frans Benecke. Photo: Supplied

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A group of eight Accounting students of the University of the Free State (UFS) excelled in a competition for the presentation of their case study “Dieselgate”.

They participated in this year’s Ernst & Young Project Alpha competition.

A panel of judges chose the group as the ultimate winner over 82 other teams for its impressive presentation.

The students won with their presentation “Ethical issues of environment vs economy”.

The judges were captivated by the “Hoaxwagen” group’s ten minute video demonstrating a critical assessment of a multidimensional matter.

“While addressing an ethical issue, their presentation showcased other skills such as the ability to present, communicate, come out of their comfort zone and be innovative,” said Mojalefa Mosala, a judge and lecturer in business ethics at the UFS.

The UFS is the first university outside Johannesburg to participate in the Project Alpha contest. Over the past few years, Ernst & Young and the UFS have forged a strong relationship, giving students a glimpse into the corporate world of accounting.

“Project Alpha encourages critical thinking and not taking things at face value,by looking a bit deeper and spending time to understand the pros and cons of any situation in order to make an informed decision,” said Frans Benecke, member of the winning team.

The team of the UFS gained a life-long learning experience and, in addition, walked away with the prize of R2 000 in shopping vouchers.

Participation in the competition gave students the opportunity to be exposed to contemporary global thinking, which is strongly advocated in the UFS’s Integrated Transformation Plan.

This competition focuses on the ethical issues of environment vs economy, and comes a few years after the news of “Dieselgate”, Volkswagen’s (VW) fuel emission scandal.

Investigations in America found the German automaker guilty of programming compu­ters in their diesel cars, altering engine operations to seemingly meet legal emission standards.

A notice of violation of the Clean Air Act issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency had dire consequences for the automobile company, but positive implications for the economy and the environment.

As part of a lawsuit settlement, vehicles were recalled, fines were paid and approximately 21 million affected vehicles with VW diesel engines were refitted by September 2015.

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