The current business environment is rapidly changing. World markets are becoming increasingly global, organizations merge, restrictions on trading transactions are being lifted and competition becomes more intense. Information technology creates an innovative environment which facilitates the delivery of a new range of services, the direct exchange of information, execution of transactions and agreements. In recent decades, developed countries have shifted their business focus from manufacturing to services while less developed economies are also changing as they attempt to fill in the resulting gap in the field of manufacturing. The recent economic crisis which has affected the services sector and more severely so the financial services industry is rapidly changing the legal, business and economic environments of all affected countries.
In these challenging times, only those managers with the ability to anticipate, understand and effectively adapt to the challenges and demands of today's business environment will be able to lead their organizations to success. Those who fail to act or fail to respond to these changes, will expose their organizations to various risks, including their very survival. The ongoing economic crisis of the last decade has uncovered the importance of redefining business values and adherence to strict ethical codes in order to regain investor confidence.
Given the challenging environment that organizations are called to face, the Department of Accounting and Finance (AFN) aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to advance their career and eventually lead their organizations to financial success. The Department offers a comprehensive curriculum, which, on the one hand, provides students with a broad knowledge in the diverse area of business administration and, on the other hand, specialized in-depth knowledge in the disciplines of Accounting and Finance. The curriculum of the Department combines internationally renowned principles in business administration with knowledge of the local business environment in Cyprus and the wider region, and gives special attention to the application of information technology as a tool for implementing the tactical and strategic objectives of an organization. The curriculum is based on standards of similar programs offered in prestigious universities in Europe and North America.
Objectives of the Department
The main objective of the Accounting and Finance Department is to:
"Have a leading role in the areas of Accounting and Finance, both in Cyprus and the wider region and to achieve international recognition as a valuable research center on topics that fall into these areas."
This objective can be achieved through systematic effort in three directions:
(a) Providing integrated academic and scientific knowledge and training of students of the department that will allow them to excel in their professional environment.
(b) Supporting high quality research which is internationally acclaimed.
(c) Disseminating knowledge to the society at large by organizing educational seminars and other programs.
The curriculum of the Department features broad education in the various fields of business administration and specialized in-depth education in the disciplines of Accounting and Finance. For each of these disciplines, the Department offers separate undergraduate degrees.
The breadth courses of the Department provide students with a comprehensive understanding of business operations. These courses cover a wide range of fundamental knowledge and provide the basis for furthering their knowledge in either of the department's core disciplines. Students are expected to develop critical and analytical thinking skills and apply quantitative and computational methods to solve theoretical and practical problems. Such skills are essential management skills in the modern business environment.
The study of Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science and Economics is an essential preparatory part of the curriculum. Students also have the opportunity to expand their knowledge with broader elective courses offered by other faculties of the University. In addition, during the last two semesters, students have the opportunity to write a thesis, which should involve either original academic research work or collaboration with a private or public organization applying modern methods and management techniques in solving practical problems.
Undergraduate students have access to all computer laboratories of the University. Also, the School of Economics and Management has a specialized computer lab, which is equipped with state of the art equipment and connected to a fast communication network. Computers are equipped with all necessary software to meet the needs of the students.
In addition, the Department has arranged so that the University Library is equipped with all major international scientific and professional journals and books in the fields of Accounting and Finance. The Library subscribes to an extensive collection of international financial and accounting databases (e.g. Datastream, CRSP, Compustat, Global Vantage), which students can use throughout their studies.
Graduates have the necessary tools and knowledge for advancement in leading management positions in various organizations in Cyprus or abroad. Our graduates have opportunities for employment in the banking, securities, and insurance sectors, in accounting and auditing firms, in the manufacturing and retailing, in the tourism sector, in utilities and various public sector services. The global recognition enjoyed by the University of Cyprus, and the Department of Accounting and Finance in particular, enables the students to also explore opportunities and to seek employment outside Cyprus for organizations with operations in the wider economic environment of the European Union. Graduates of the Department seize these opportunities to gain valuable experience and broaden their professional horizons by choosing employment abroad.
Importantly, graduates of the Department have the opportunity to gain professional qualifications in Finance (Certified Financial Analyst) and in Accounting such as the qualifications of Chartered or Certified Accountant, for which the department provides the possibility to gain exemptions by attending analogous courses. The department's devotion to academic excellence is reflected by the exceptionally high success rates of our graduates in these professional exams who oftentimes are the recipients of prestigious global awards for outstanding performance. Finally, the Department's graduates can continue their studies at the graduate level of the University of Cyprus or in recognized academic institutions abroad. Many graduates of the Department have successfully completed postgraduate studies in prominent universities in Europe and North America. The Department also offers graduate programs (MSc, PhD) in Finance, MSc in Financial Economics in cooperation with the Department of Economics, and a postgraduate degree in Business Administration (MBA) in cooperation with the Department of Business and Public Administration. The MBA Program is offered both on a part time and full time basis, and the language of instruction can be English or Greek.
The Department disseminates knowledge to society at large by organizing a series of lectures. Topics with local or international interest are occasionally presented by the University's faculty, distinguished guests and personalities from the business world. Student's education is enhanced with various activities organized by the students themselves with the support of the Department. The Department actively supports the Investment Society which is funded by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).
Our students have the opportunity to participate in an ERASMUS program, which is funded by the European Union. Second, third and fourth (only in the penultimate semester) year students are eligible to participate. Such programs offer students the opportunity to study abroad for up to a year in specific European universities with which the Department has agreements for educational exchange. Relevant courses successfully completed abroad, can be used to satisfy the requirements of the degree requirements, subject to approval of the curriculum by the Departmental Council. Also, Erasmus participants may receive financial support to help cover part of the expenses incurred abroad. The selection of students for participation in the programs is on a competitive basis. Currently, the Department maintains educational exchange agreements with universities in Greece, Italy, Malta, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Poland. Efforts are made for similar agreements with further European universities.