Gearing up for the future of business and economic progress

Accounting Business Education
Speakers at UM and USM ICAEW strategic credits commemoration event

(Spin Digit Editorial):- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Aug 31, 2021 ( – The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to change what people expect of life, work, communication, and most importantly, what is expected of employees, management, and leadership. Presently, we can already see changing business models and employment trends. More robust education and greater exposure to societal problems and potential solutions are key focuses of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), as well as higher education institutions in Malaysia and around the world as we navigate through an evolving environment that is complex and dynamic.

The need for highly skilled professionals who are able not only to develop new ideas, but also access, understand, and use this knowledge and understanding for technological and economic progress has now become integral to the success of businesses. To achieve this goal, ICAEW has collaborated with Universiti Malaya (UM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) on a Strategic Credits programme that will provide their accounting graduates the opportunity to gain an internationally recognised professional qualification.

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This significant milestone also marks UM and USM as the first 2 public universities in Malaysia to receive the ICAEW Strategic Credits Partner status. Including UM and USM, there are currently only 11 ICAEW Strategic Credits universities in the world and 3 of these are in Malaysia, including Multimedia University (MMU), which became a Strategic Credits partner to ICAEW in 2018.

Julia Penny, Deputy President of ICAEW said, “This Strategic Credits programme marks an important new step in these partnerships and will play a critical role in developing the next generation of Chartered Accountants in Malaysia as well as help them develop the skills to build the strong and sustainable economies of the future.”

She went on to add that “The programme has allowed UM and USM accounting students greater access to ICAEW membership, provide them with future proof careers and will benefit employers as these students will come into the employment market job-ready, further building the quality of talent across Malaysia, and it will benefit the universities, enhancing their curriculums and elevating their already impressive accomplishments.”

“One of the key themes of ICAEW’s new strategy is to ‘strengthen the profession by attracting talent and building diversity’. We want exceptional individuals from all backgrounds to become Chartered Accountants and trusted sources of business advice. Through partnering with Malaysia’s best institutions, we look forward to creating a legacy of talented professionals and a new generation who will work towards developing trust in the profession, as well as a more sustainable economy.”

“Working with Universiti Malaya and Universiti Sains Malaysia through our Strategic Credits programme, we will equip the Chartered Accountants of the future with the technical and ethical knowledge, skills, and expertise to serve as the business and finance leaders of the future,” she concluded.

Professor Datuk Dr. Husaini Omar, Director-General of Ministry of Higher Education who officiated the commemoration event said, “Malaysia’s higher education system has transformed considerably over the years and is undergoing a very positive change. The curriculum and teaching methods are being revamped with new critical elements such as experiential learning, organic and flexible curriculum, and a lifelong learning mindset to develop future-ready graduates.  As such, I can see the commemoration today is very much in line with the policy that the Ministry has planned for in producing a highly skilled, innovative and professional workforce.  Through its main objective, ICAEW’s collaboration with UM and USM aims to build a sustainable career for the graduates with a future-ready curriculum. This collaboration will also work towards supporting the national body, The Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) agenda in producing more professionally qualified accountants.”

To match graduates’ skills with employer expectations’ and to prepare them for the workplace, the Malaysian higher education system will need stronger collaborations between industry and academia to improve the quality and content of university education in alignment with employers’ needs, as well as greater employer involvement in training. Through this Strategic Credits partnership, this demand gap is being met by Malaysia’s most prestigious universities in collaboration with the internationally recognised professional organisation, ICAEW and their authorised training employers, which these students will have the opportunity to join after graduation.

At the event, Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Mohd. Hamdi Abd. Shukor, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya spoke about how Universiti Malaya is one of three selected institutions in Malaysia to acquire eight credits for prior learning (CPLs) and an additional four Strategic Credits through exam moderation, is a testimony to the resounding affirmation of faith and recognition to each institute shared strengths. “This strategic tie-up with ICAEW paves a new path of future-driven collaboration with the best interest of student development and the impact on the community and nation-building in mind. It creates a well-structured and in-depth avenue for both students and lecturers to gain access to high-level resources and knowledgebase from ICAEW. The exchange and exposure in the syllabus, mode of delivery and the proven content that encompass a holistic and self-sustaining knowledge absorption and application will further encapsulate the manifestation of future-ready human capital in impacting the world and humanity.”

Professor Dr Faisal Rafiq Mahamd Adikan, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia added “Quality education, or SDG4, is one of the pillars in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. In line with the vision of “Transforming Higher Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow”, USM is very committed to pursuing concerted efforts towards designing the best talents among our students to enable them to transform their socio-economic well-being and contribute to a sustainable future. Sharing similar aspirations with ICAEW with regard to sustainability, opportunities, and diversity in education, the opportunity to be part of this strategic partnership is highly valued and we at USM applaud a talent development initiative of this nature.”

Historically, Higher Education Institutes are only able to apply up to a maximum of eight Credit Prior Learning against 15 ACA modules. However, through the ICAEW Strategic Credits programme, carefully selected institutes of higher learning such as UM and USM are able to embed an additional four ICAEW modules within their own curriculum. This syllabus is moderated by ICAEW and updated annually to match the organization’s standards. The vision for this holistic approach enables UM and USM students to complete their degrees and pass the majority of their ACA exams during the same period. The students are only left with three advanced level papers to be completed during their training period with authorised training employers.

According to Professor Phillip Ormrod, External Moderator for ICAEW, “The strategic credit examinations that are taken by the students at UM and USM are of equal standards with ICAEW external examinations and share similar learning outcomes. The implantation of the strategic credits is a great example of international collaboration and reflects the global business environment. I am looking forward to the graduates in UM and USM becoming ICAEW Chartered Accountants and helping to build a sustainable economy for Malaysia.”

A Chartered Accountancy qualification opens the door to a vast range of exciting career opportunities, in every sector of business and finance, and is in constant demand both locally and abroad. Chartered Accountants are recognised for their technical competence, professional standards, and veracity. Through the ICAEW Strategic Credits programme, UM and USM graduates will now have a sound foundation and pathway to becoming future advisors, leaders, and decision-makers with the skills and knowledge to drive the country and the world forward.

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This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.