INTEGRES - Integrated Reporting and Education for Sustainability

Erasmus Plus

Erasmus Plus Programme - Key Action 2 Strategic Partnership in the field of Higher Education

Funding Agency: Co-funded by the European Union

The main objective of INTEGRES is to develop educational material for bachelor and master business and accounting students about Integrated Reporting (IR) and disclosure of non-financial information for SMEs to prepare the students for their future work as IR business advisors in Europe.

Disclosing non-financial information is considered more and more important nowadays. Companies are expected to be transparent and need to communicate about their impact on society. A traditional annual report containing only financial information is not sufficient anymore. Consequently, companies ask professionals to develop new skills and a new way of working, requiring different knowledge. Financial professionals need to evolve from experts in reporting financial information to broadly educated experts and advisors in financial and non-financial information. The INTEGRES partners are aware of this skills gap.

Moreover, they noticed that existing frameworks and models for non-financial reporting focus on large companies while applied methods and materials for SMEs are missing.

Based on input from students, accounting firms, and SMEs, the project partners will create suitable educational material on how to use IR and how to disclose non-financial information for SMEs.

They will develop a module of 5 courses (6 credits each) containing issues related to the subject of IR, an Open Education Resource (OER), and a Handbook on Integrated Reporting.

The educational material and the OER will be available for all bachelor and master business and accounting students.

All the experiences, cases, models, interviews with SMEs, etc., will be bundled in a handbook to inform and educate other students and, eventually, SMEs and small accounting and audit firms.

The project will deliver future-proof financial professionals equipped with the required knowledge and skills to help SMEs in their sustainability transition.

Moreover, this project will provide students and teachers with intercultural awareness regarding IR, experiences in international cooperation, and improved networking and language skills.

The project aims to fill the need of partner universities struggling with ways to introduce knowledge and theories about non-financial (risk) management, accounting, reporting, and communication in their curriculum.

There is a significant lack of proper educational material on how to introduce integrated reporting in SMEs.

The project is designed to involve different universities in different countries, by combining this expertise, partners can increase the financial and business education quality in their organizations.

The University of Bologna is involved in developing one course (out of five) on IR and Human Capital for SMEs to better understand how SMEs can report on non-financial aspects focusing on the role played by human capital.

Interactions and discussions with SME representatives will challenge students to apply concepts and tools learned in class while adapting them to real-life contexts.

Furthermore, the University of Bologna will coordinate, design, implement, and deliver the Open Educational Resource (Mooc) to make digitally available the educational material.

All courses will include cases, lectures, clips, assignments, and tests for third and fourth-year Bachelor business and accounting students and 1st and 2nd-year master students.

Project Partners:

  • Alma Mater Studiorum-Università di Bologna, Department of Management - DISA (Prof. Selena Aureli and Monica Bartolini);  Department of Sociology and Business Law  (Prof.  Federica Farneti ) - Partner
  • Stichting Avans - The Netherlands (Coordinator)
  • Hogeschool Gent – Belgium;
  • Université Catholique de Lille – France;
  • Technological University Dublin - Ireland.

Duration: 36 months from 01/09/20 to 31/08/23

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

4 Quality Education

8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

17 Partnerships for the Goals