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A holistic investigation into a tutor programme in first‐year Financial Accounting

L.P. Steenkamp (Department of Accounting, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)
R.S. Baard (Department of Accounting, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)
B.L. Frick (Department of Curriculum Studies, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Article publication date: 29 June 2012



Student success and attrition, especially in the first year, has received increasing attention both in South Africa and internationally. The purpose of this article is to explore peer tutoring as a possible approach to facilitate first‐year student success in Financial Accounting.


The perspectives of tutors and students attending tutor sessions (tutees) were investigated by means of questionnaires, which were complemented by an analysis of the tutees' performance in the subject compared with their participation in the tutor programme. Two cohorts of students (2008/2009) were included in the study.


The results suggest that the tutees experienced the tutor programme positively and were in favour of similar initiatives in their second year of study. The tutors thought the programme had beneficial consequences for tutees. Regular attendance of tutor sessions seemed to benefit at least some students, even though it is difficult to determine causality. English‐speaking students benefited from attending the tutor sessions.

Research limitations/implications

The results are not generalisable beyond the scope of the particular institution, but provide guidance for other institutions considering a similar intervention.


The implementation of a tutor programme entails investments in terms of both money and time. This paper considers the benefits derived from these investments, specifically in an Accounting and South African context.



Steenkamp, L.P., Baard, R.S. and Frick, B.L. (2012), "A holistic investigation into a tutor programme in first‐year Financial Accounting", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 68-87.



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