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Student Insights

What’s it like to… study in Mauritius?

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 04 Jan 2024

Clockwise from top left: Yajna Christna, Avikesh Bhola, Beverly Kwan, Vedanth Tulsi Mauritius ICAEW accountant student society teal background
Clockwise from top left: Yajna Christna, Avikesh Bhola, Beverly Kwan, Vedanth Tulsi

ICAEW has been training accountants in Mauritius since 2011. We speak to three students and a recently qualified member to hear what the experience has been like for them.

The island nation of Mauritius, home to 1.3 million people, has a growing reputation as a resilient financial hub. It’s also home to around 300 ACA students, 470 ICAEW members, 70 authorised training employers (ATEs) and its own Society of Chartered Accountants (SCA).

Avikesh Bholah completed the ACA in 2021. He is now a manager within the Financial Advisory Department at Deloitte Mauritius, as well as the SCA’s assistant secretary and finance ambassador for ICAEW’s Mauritius Student Community. Having achieved a degree in business administration in 2017, Avikesh learned about the ACA from a company he had submitted a job application to, who advised him that the qualification was his best route into corporate finance.

“I read all the positive feedback about the ICAEW student experience and within a week I knew it was right for me,” says Avikesh. “It’s been a challenging journey but I have had good support – not just from ICAEW but also from Deloitte, who sponsored my tuition and exam fees.”

Gaining practical experience

Independent student Beverly Kwen knew about ICAEW and the ACA from family members who had previously belonged to SCA Mauritius. Having initially looked to pursue a science degree, it was the sheer variety of opportunities offered by the ACA qualification that convinced her to change track.

“I was amazed by how broad the qualification is,” says Beverly, who is now progressing to the Professional Level. “It’s not just accounting – it encompasses business and finance. You can work in management, marketing, logistics and so much more. And it focuses as much on the practical as the technical side. The 450 days’ work experience helps you hone skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork and decision-making.”

Yajna Christna, who is currently working at MCB Group and is vice chair of the Mauritius Student Community, is looking forward to qualifying in early 2024. Yajna was attracted to ICAEW by being able to work and study at the same time, and valued the ACA’s broad curriculum, as it enabled her to move around various departments within her company to gain experience. “You have to be very organised and disciplined, but as an ICAEW student your employers know they can trust you to get the job done,” she says.

Promising futures await

Much like Beverly and Yajna, Vedanth Tulsi, who is nearing completion of the Advanced Level, appreciates the ACA’s practical slant: “You can see how it evolves to keep up with changes in the finance world – what you are learning, such as data analytics and Excel formulas, can be usefully applied to the real world of work.”

Vedanth has been working in the audit department of Mazars for almost four years and is chair of the Mauritius Student Community. He always wanted to work in finance and chose ICAEW because of the high esteem it is held in by employers. “I was hesitating between going for a degree or joining a professional course,” he says. “It was my father who suggested the ACA and said that ICAEW is known for attracting the most promising students. You have the ethics module, the six-monthly reviews, and you must gain work experience at an ATE – all these requirements make the ACA very rigorous.”

Avikesh agrees: “Employers value the ACA highly. They’ll know that you can handle challenging work and complex assignments. Many of the big companies in Mauritius have ACA-qualified professionals in senior positions. If you have the ACA, you have a bright future – and you are being positioned to take on senior roles.”

Accessing wider support

The Covid-19 pandemic brought many changes to education in Mauritius, as it did around the globe, with ACA students moving online to continue their studies. Now, going forward, the growth in digital tuition has offered increased flexibility to students. “It’s very flexible,” says Beverly. “If I have any problems, I can contact my online tutor for support.”

However, finding the right tuition provider during the initial disruption brought about by the pandemic was a challenge. Beverly credits ICAEW’s Business Development team for Mauritius and Western Europe with easing the process. “Our local Business Development manager helped me throughout,” she says. “She sent me links for tuition providers, and we had quite a few Zoom meetings where she guided me through the whole process.”

Yajna, too, appreciated the team’s ability to “work out solutions for any problem – they would always put us in contact with the right person at ICAEW.” Vedanth also recalls how the Business Development manager helped him complete his online training file: “My counsellor at Mazars is not an ICAEW member so, on one of her visits to Mauritius, she held a session at the company for all students and counsellors to teach us how to complete them properly.”

Leveraging social networks

ICAEW also sparked the creation of the Mauritius Student Community in 2021. It was initially set up as a way for students to keep in contact during Covid, holding online quiz nights and webinars on changes to the syllabus and preparing for exams, but it soon took on a life of its own.

“We are now doing it ourselves, and students approach us directly as ambassadors with their questions,” says Vedanth. “For example, if they have difficulty with software or if they are ill and can’t make an exam, we are there. But if we are ever stuck, we know we can contact ICAEW for additional support, too.”

The community has continued to thrive, hosting bowling nights, lunches and parties, as well as team-building exercises such as tree planting at a nature park and decorating a school for children with autism. These activities bring students together to share their knowledge and experience, as well as build their social and professional networks as they advance in the workplace. The future is looking bright for the burgeoning accountancy community in Mauritius.

Learn more about pursuing ACA training in Mauritius and hear what it’s like to study in Cyprus and Greece.

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