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Curtin University of Technology
Media Releases 2012

Making Curtin accounting graduates competitive in the global market

If you want a business degree that gives you a competitive edge and puts you ahead of the pack, Curtin University has what you are looking for.

The university’s strong industry connections ensure its business courses are aligned with the latest industry trends, with considerable emphasis on decision-making, trends in technology and associated work patterns, and other aspects of management in the highly competitive business arena.

Its Bachelor of Commerce courses are designed to develop professional expertise in several relevant areas of specialisation and in a range of other required skills.

Indeed, it is worth noting that Curtin University ranks among the top 150 universities in the world for Accounting and Finance, according to the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. This speaks volumes of the quality of its Bachelor of Commerce double-major in Accounting and Finance, which is known for its applied and professional emphasis, flexible structure and relevance to business requirements.

Furthermore, the principal roles of accountancy and finance in society and their notable influence in daily business transactions worldwide make them interesting disciplines in their own right.

The Accounting and Finance double-major remains one of the most popular double-major combinations that Curtin University offers both at its main campus in Perth, Western Australia, and at its largest international campus - the Curtin Sarawak campus in Miri, Malaysia.

The 3-year full-time course is designed for students who want to specialise in corporate and institutional finance. Graduates of the course with suitable work experience may be considered for admission to graduate courses at both campuses and other institutions internationally.

In their first year, students study units common to all the commerce majors, followed by more specialised units such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, business and company law, taxation and auditing, corporate finance, international finance, derivative securities and portfolio management.

In addition, they will gain a broad understanding of the structure and operations of financial markets in Asia and globally, together with the theory and techniques underlying accounting and financial management.

At Curtin Sarawak, the course is offered under the Department of Accounting of the Curtin Sarawak School of Business and is available on a full-time basis where students can complete the degree in a minimum of six semesters over three years.

Students are offered flexibility in completing their degrees, in which they can opt to complete all three years at Curtin Sarawak or transfer to the main campus for years two and three.

Admission to the course requires students to meet Curtin’s English language and standard admission requirements and those transferring from other tertiary institutions are eligible for recognition of prior learning.

In addition to being recognised by the Malaysian Government through the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and the Public Services Department, the course is recognised as being acceptable for associate membership in CPA Australia and the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), as well as entry to the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) graduate programme.

After obtaining membership in CPA Australia, ICAA or ACCA, graduates are eligible for membership in the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) and the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA).

All courses offered at Curtin Sarawak are identical in structure to those at the main campus, exams, and degrees are awarded by Curtin University in Perth. Students experience the same standards of teaching and learning that are highly prized by graduates and respected by industry and professional bodies worldwide.

Furthermore, the degrees are awarded under the Australian Qualifications Framework, a single nationwide system designed to ensure Australian qualifications are recognised and accepted throughout the world.

As a result, graduates from the Accounting and Finance course can look forward to excellent employment opportunities internationally.

Graduates can look forward to lucrative careers as professional accountants, auditors, financial analysts, financial planners, fund managers and futures traders, both within Malaysia and internationally.

Students also learn from experienced teaching staff, and are exposed to some of the industry’s top employers through opportunities such as field trips, internships, real-life scenarios and practical assignments, guest lectures by industry professionals, and networking events.

The head of the Department of Accounting at the Curtin Sarawak School of Business, Dr. Anbalagan Krishnan, commented that his department’s highly qualified teaching staff ensure students are equipped with exceptional forward thinking qualities and cutting edge knowledge to meet the needs of their future employers.

Dr. Anbalagan Krishnan, Head of Department of Accounting, School of Business.

Furthermore, many of them have extensive industrial experience and strong links with national and international accounting institutes and professional bodies, as well industry players, and frequently arrange guest lectures, field trips and industrial training stints for their students.

He added that many of the staff have worked overseas and can provide an international perspective to the students’ business education that is increasingly important in today’s global marketplace.

Anbalagan is confident that, combined with classroom learning, involvement in extracurricular activities and the department’s strong affiliations to business organisations in and around the region, the department will continue to produce all-rounded graduates that will be competitive in the global market.

He said that, just as with the Curtin Business School (CBS) in Perth, Curtin Sarawak’s School of Business offers students more than just a classroom experience.

CURTIN SARAWAK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: Offering students more than just a classroom experience.

“All our courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level provide students with a comprehensive and practical learning experience, and we maintain strong links with industry to ensure we effectively serve the needs of both our students and the workforce,” he remarked.

He added that the School of Business’ Advisory Board – a group of industry experts – reviews its study programmes regularly to make sure what the students learn are up-to-date and industry relevant.

In addition, unique study approaches such as Capstone – the final unit in the Bachelor of Commerce – give students an advantage over other graduates as they get to apply the skills they learn to a contemporary case study using resources from leading local and international organisations.

Anbalagan believes that as businesses increasingly cross national borders and networks develop between global companies, it is becoming even more important for graduates to expand their horizons, understand diverse environments and be adaptable to different business situations.

He said Curtin business graduates become part of a well-recognised and international alumni of almost 72,000 people from more than 70 different countries, giving them the opportunity to start establishing their international networks from day one.

According to Anbalagan, Curtin Sarawak business graduates have gained employment in diverse professional roles and business areas across the globe. From negotiating industrial relations to analysing the stock market, devising marketing strategies or designing business information systems, their Curtin business degree can lead to varied and rewarding career paths anywhere in the world.

Senior lecturer of accounting and R&D Coordinator for the School of Business, Dr. Pauline Ho, said that, as the department with the largest number of students in the school, the Department of Accounting has earned a reputation for offering high quality, market-driven accounting programmes.

“The design of our curriculum incorporates the attainment of Curtin’s graduate attributes in order to ensure our accounting graduates are not only academically sound but also workplace ready,” she said.

Dr. Ho said the department has big plans for the future, including expanding its teaching and research portfolios and exploring the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR). 

“CSR is a concept that is widely embraced in today’s business world. Not only should our accounting students embrace the concept, they should adopt it in a pragmatic way. The university is the right place to begin, and they should be adept at it even before stepping into the business world,” said Dr. Ho.

She added that the department has produced many outstanding students in the past, and its students have participated in a number of national and international competitions. They include the national-level investment quiz organised by Pemodalan Nasional Berhad, the state-level CPA Australia Business Quiz, CIMA Business Challenge and Deloitte Tax Challenge, as well as the Think Big Business Plan Competition organised by iCentre in Brunei. Recently, one of its students won the MICPA Best Accounting Graduate Award, beating contenders from public and private universities throughout Malaysia.

Curtin Sarawak opened its doors in 1999 following an invitation from the Sarawak State Government to Curtin University to establish its first international campus in Miri in the north of the state. It has one of the most modern university campuses in Southeast Asia, where stylish buildings based on the architectural style of Curtin’s main campus in Perth complement world-class, state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

It is a popular choice for both Malaysian and international students from over 40 countries because of its international outlook, innovative courses, world-class teaching facilities, flexible study options, applied and practical subjects, used of advanced technology, and partnerships with industry and government.

CURTIN SARAWAK: A popular choice for both Malaysian and international students from over 40 countries.

The relatively lower tuition fees and living costs compared to undergoing the same courses at the main campus is also a big draw. In a nutshell, students get a quality Australian education and global learning experience in a unique Malaysian setting, and at Malaysian fees.

Further information on Curtin Sarawak can be obtained from its website at Alternatively, one can contact its Student Recruitment Department at +60 85 443939 or via e-mail to for more details. Curtin Sarawak can also be found on Facebook at