Home Top 35 Profiles 2018 Top 35-under-35 Finalist: Rikus Ruben de Villiers

2018 Top 35-under-35 Finalist: Rikus Ruben de Villiers

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Name: Rikus Ruben de Villiers

Region: Central Region

Job Title: Associate Professor

Years in this position: 4

Company Name: North-West University

Entry Category: Academia

Since Rikus’s appointment in 2014 as a senior lecturer at North-West University (NWU) and his subsequent promotion to associate professor in 2017, he has made remarkable strides in academia. ‘Being an academic provides me with the opportunity to engage with, develop and influence young minds to become internationally recognised, ethically inclined leaders who are equipped with much more than merely technical skills. I took up this challenge to assist in developing not just ordinary CAs(SA) that fit the norm, but to ensure that any students I come in contact with are provided with the skills and ethical standards to position themselves in society so as to facilitate the ongoing progression, development and transformation of the CA profession and the wider South African community.’

Rikus completed his PhD in Accountancy at the age of 27, which resulted (as far as could be confirmed) in him being the youngest CA in South Africa ever to obtain a PhD. He has lectured various Accounting modules, supervised on several postgraduate degrees, published numerous articles in internationally accredited scientific journals, and refereed several conference proceedings, master’s dissertations and PhD theses. Rikus has also presented various research papers at international conferences, where he received some best paper awards.

Rikus’s commitment towards the development and transformation of the CA profession goes far beyond his employment at NWU. This is evident through his involvement in the SAICA qualifying examinations, where he serves as umpire and team leader for the ITC and APC respectively. He is also a member of professional accountancy associations internationally and serves as the vice-president of the South African Accounting Association.

Overall, Rikus sees himself as a young, dynamic individual with unprecedented perseverance, commitment and passion towards the training of aspiring CAs(SA). ‘My belief is that what I have done to date should show that age is not a factor and that acting as a role model to which your students can look up to, can aid in motivating graduates who enter the marketplace to make an influential positive contribution to the economy, community and overall welfare of this dynamic country. This is our role as educators of future leaders and we as academics should live up to it.’