South Africa

Best universities in South Africa to become a CA

The universities with the best pass rate for chartered accountant board exams in 2023 are the University of Pretoria, North-West University, and Stellenbosch University. 

This is from statistics released by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) regarding the pass rates for January’s initial test of competence (ITC) exam. 

The exam assesses how well candidates can apply technical competence from their academic programme at university. 

3,021 postgraduate students, including first-time writers and repeat candidates, took the ICT exam.  2,279 candidates passed, resulting in a pass rate of 75%. 

The University of Pretoria was the best-performing institution with a 100% pass rate, followed by North-West University with 99% and Stellenbosch with 98%. 

For first-time candidates, the University of Pretoria, the University of Cape Town, the University of the Western Cape, and the University of the Free State all had 100% pass rates. 

On the other side of the spectrum were the Regent School of Business, which had a 38% pass rate and the University of South Africa (UNISA) with a 39% pass rate.

These were the only institutions with a pass rate below 50%. 

Despite its poor pass rate, UNISA is one of the largest contributors of successful candidates as it has the highest number of students who take the exam at 786. 

The institution was subject to a SAICA inquiry in 2022 due to improper assessment standards. The institute gave it a rating of three – one step away from losing its accreditation. 

UNISA kept its accreditation on condition that it would take steps to rectify its assessment standards. Only students from accredited institutions can take SAICA’s ITC exam. 

The ITC exam is one of two exams that accountants must pass to become a certified Chartered Accountant registered with SAICA. 

The second exam is the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) exam, which takes place after a period of 20 months working as an auditor.

This exam assesses how well individuals can apply technical competence gained from working as an auditor. 

University pass rates in SAICA’s ITC exam

UniversityPass rate (%)
University of Pretoria100%
North-West University99%
Stellenbosch University 98%
University of the Witwatersrand97%
University of Cape Town97%
University of Free State93%
Nelson Mandela University93%
University of the Western Cape 91%
University of Johannesburg91%
University of Limpopo89%
Independent Institue of Education87%
University of Fort Hare86%
Milpark Education79%
Institute of Accounting Science79%
Rhodes University72%
University of KwaZulu-Natal64%
Regent Business School38%
Average university pass rate75%


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