As UCOL’s first ever visiting Professor, Andy Junker arrived from Germany last month armed with his favourite principle; Buchhaltung muss nicht langweilig sein – translation: Accountancy need not be boring.
Based at the Palmerston North campus for three months as a guest of the Faculty of Humanities and Business, Andy will spend his time evaluating the Bachelor of Applied Management with the view to establishing a student exchange programme between UCOL and HTW.
Andy is the Study Abroad Advisor for HTW, a University of Applied Science, Business and Technology in Saarbruechen, Germany. Similar in size to UCOL, HTW has a role of 6000 students.
His self-funded visit is the result of a meeting with student exchange facilitator Tina Hartung in Germany, which presented the opportunity to travel to New Zealand and spend time at UCOL.
"I wanted to experience UCOL and compare the business programmes first hand," says Andy. "My first impressions are good ones – the lecturers here know their job well."
He has already engaged students with specialised tutorials in accounting and finance, and he hopes to give a guest lecture or two.
Head of the School of Business and Computing, Catherine Snell-Siddle says, "Andy shows great enthusiasm and willingness to be involved in all areas of Faculty activities. His time at UCOL will be of huge benefit to both teaching staff and students."
During his sabbatical, Andy plans to prepare a lecture on International Taxation and publish an article on Business Succession. "But I am mainly here to become familiar with UCOL, its teaching practices and programmes."
Jerry Shearman, UCOL Executive Director, Education & Applied Research says, "It's exciting that UCOL can attract visiting academics of this calibre as we look to grow our international and national profile."
Travelling abroad from Germany every five years on similar research trips, Andy has established exchange partnerships with three learning institutions in the United States, and several in Europe.
Usually accompanied by his family on his three month visits, he enjoys the opportunity to be away from the demanding daily grind at HTW. "Its like pressing a re-set button. I have time to think."
Andy admits he is an accountancy man through and through - and he loves it. "Accountancy is regarded as boring, but I'm working hard to change that perception."