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Confirmation of Candidature - Candidate : Afsana Bilkis

Critical Thinking and Professional Scepticism in Higher Education Across the Accounting Curriculum
03 NOV 2022
9.00 AM - 10.30 AM

Professional scepticism and critical thinking are the key components of the accounting and auditing professions, however these are still thought that accounting students lack these abilities. In this study, we investigate roles of professional skepticism (PS) and critical thinking(CT) in response to calls for more research on the topic. This research identified that lack of relevancy and ineffective teaching strategies are the causes of the required skills gap. We also take into account how crucial a role education may play in fostering the quality of professional scepticism and minimising the critical thinking skills/professional scepticism gap. 

This study will evaluate how educational institutions assess the relationship between critical thinking concepts and the way how it transmits to the students successfully. The research also suggests the necessity of determining a clear interpretation of professional scepticism or identifying appropriate scepticism levels exercised by auditors to make any conclusions about PS. 
There are multidimensional ethical and psychological elements that can influence auditors' professional judgment in diverse cultures. The study also raises ethical, cultural, and value concerns with the use of CT/PS by accountants; hence a cross-cultural comparison will be made for a better understanding of how accounting students, academics, employers, and professional bodies see and use CT and PS abilities. Furthermore, this study will determine the relationship between psychological factors and the professional judgement of auditors in different cultural contexts. To that end, the researcher will track how auditors react to and interpret the audit data. The qualitative and quantitative research methodology will be followed by firstly examining literature review on the necessity of CT and PS. 

During the literature review, consideration has been given to the specific professional skills and professional accounting bodies' requirements in the context of higher education within the Accounting discipline. Literature reviews on Accounting education reveals that CT/PS are having increased priority in higher education. The accounting programs in higher education are also criticised for not developing those two skills needs sufficiently. 

In order to check that the curriculum and content conform with the accounting learning standards, the researcher will analyse the curriculum and content by inviting four stakeholders to participate in the feedback process. The proposed research is based on the idea that using technology helps students develop and enhance CT; hence the researcher will identify or develop technology-assisted experiential learning activities to support students' critical thinking and the growth of their professional scepticism. This study will explore further applications of critical thinking and professional scepticism within online content and the environment.

For more information or zoom link, please email the Graduate Research School or phone (07) 4631 1088.  The zoom links are included in the ReDTrain Bulletin.