PhD number two ticked off

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Five years of blood, sweat and tears is over for WITT Te Pūkenga accounting kaiako Dr Walaa Ghazy as she’s submitted her PhD. What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that it is PhD number two for Walaa, and it has been completed in English, which is not Walaa’s native language.

“It was another level of the English language to master – it was a challenge, but now I can say it was enjoyable,” she says.

Challenge aside, she recommends the doctorate journey to others.

“The good thing about a PhD is that it confronts you with your limitations – how far you can go with your current abilities – it puts you on the edge of what you know and can do,” she says.

She describes undertaking a PhD as a self-development journey. It is a journey that she’s shared with the ākonga she teaches in the Māori Enterprise, Business and Technology School and with her own whānau, who have only ever known a mum who juggles work and study.

Her thesis explored how cost behaves in innovative firms when managers face a change in demand conditions, and the effect of this behaviour on the informativeness of the financial reports to the stock market participants.

Having always worked in academia, Walaa was attracted to this topic to learn about cost behaviour in real world situations to bring the numbers, models and equations that make up the theory she teaches alive for herself and her ākonga.

Walaa’s next step is to turn the 150-page thesis into publishable articles and journals, but not before a holiday to her home country of Egypt and an opportunity to meet up with her son who is studying at university in Germany.

Her first PhD was completed at the University of York in the UK and was about XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) and its effects on transparency of the business reports.

Ongoing learning is actively encouraged for kaimahi at WITT, with a large number engaged in further study.

“We have processed more than 250 professional development applications so far in 2023 - that says a lot about how we support our kaimahi,” says Joachim Ogden WITT Te Pūkenga Learning and Development Leader.

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